BESTIVAL organiser and Radio One DJ Rob da Bank will be helping lead the artistic and creative vision for Portsmouth and Southampton’s 2017 UK City of Culture if the joint bid is a success.
The cities have worked together on the bid, which was formally submitted yesterday, outlining how residents, visitors and businesses will benefit from the partnership.
The partnership is also strengthened by strong live music, theatre and art connections, with opportunities to turn an old reputation for rivalry into a force for collaboration.
Rob da Bank said: ‘I was born in Portsmouth but lived near Southampton for most of my childhood.
‘My dad used to take us to games at Fratton Park and The Dell so I’ve always had a love and passion for both cities.
‘They have both made such big leaps in terms of architecture, culture, business and their overall vibe, so I’m delighted to get involved in this bid.’
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Having Rob da Bank involved, who’s an expert in delivering internationally renowned events, not to mention creatively astute, demonstrates how seriously we’re taking this bid.
‘Portsmouth has been growing its ambitious cultural attractions over the years, but we believe a combined offer would be even stronger.
‘As the home of great writing this is a fantastic opportunity for Portsmouth to share and celebrate its many literary connections, such as Dickens, Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Kipling and HG Wells.
‘We’ve worked hard to deliver a comprehensive bid, which if successful would act as a catalyst for significant change in both cities.
‘Our regeneration strategy is on track to secure £1bn worth of funding, part of which is through a combined City Deal bid with Southampton, so we’re already working together on huge projects.’
Southsea-based design company ALL CAPS has also created a massive piece of artwork for the bid, which is on display at the Southampton City Art Gallery.
Cllr Jacqui Rayment, leader of Southampton City Council, added: ‘By combining our unique and considerable attractions into one super-bid we are showing the rest of Britain all what south Hampshire has to offer both from our rich past and our exciting cultural future.’