Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Colchester: Successful bid to become UK’s Capital of Culture 2017 could net town £10million boost

19:01 18 November 2012

Dorian Kelly, who is leading Colchester's bid to win UK City of Culture 2017

Dorian Kelly, who is leading Colchester's bid to win UK City of Culture 2017

Archant

ENGLAND’S oldest recorded town could net a £10million windfall if it wins the race to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2017, it was claimed last night.

The team behind Colchester’s bid said landing the prestigious honour is likely to lead to significant investment.

Dorian Kelly, who is leading the coalition of arts organisations, community groups and businesses, said they stood a “good as anyone, better than most” chance of winning.

Mr Kelly, who describes himself as an arts entrepreneur, insists Colchester is able to enter the contest – despite being a town – because the criteria for entry is to have a population above 100,000.

He said: “This is 2012 – we have done the Olympics, the Cultural Olympiad and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. So Colchester can do it. The success of the Olympics was a big factor in our deciding to do this.

“On the basis of Norwich and Derry’s bid in 2013 – and Liverpool’s for the European Capital of Culture – we know for a fact that major sponsors like BT have ring-fenced up to £10m for whoever wins – so there’s a possibility of at least that level of investment.”

Mr Kelly revealed the group had already begun writing the bid document.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport is expected to invite bids shortly and Colchester will then have three months to submit its application.

A shortlist of towns and cities is expected to be drawn up in 2013 – which is when the real work begins, according to Mr Kelly – before a winner is announced in late 2014.

The coalition behind the bid, initially going under the name of The Culture Company, has commissioned an independent impact assessment to gauge what benefits Colchester would see if it was successful.

Mr Kelly said he expects it to reveal that even if Colchester is just shortlisted it will be in a “win-win” situation.

He said all five of those shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2013 had since reported that funding was easier to come by and visitor numbers have gone up.

The bid – much like the town’s attempt to be named a city in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year – is community focused, meaning a lot of work is being provided for free.

Mr Kelly said the cost of entering the contest was negligible, with money just needing to be found for things like meeting rooms.

He added he was in discussions with Colchester Borough Council but it is unclear at this stage whether the authority would be supporting the bid.

Related articles

0 comments

Corrie McKeague

Police are concerned for the welfare of a 23-year-old man from Bury St Edmunds who has been missing since Saturday morning (September 24).

The Freeport Braintree retail complex

A multi-million pound proposal has been put forward to expand a mid-Essex shopping centre creating up to 100 new jobs.

Belle Vue junction, Sudbury

A proposal to remodel a busy and often hazardous road junction in Sudbury has been dropped after a costly feasibility study concluded that “no improvement” would be gained by changing the layout.

Part of the illegal shipment of cigarettes discovered at the Port of Felixstowe by Border Force officials.

Border Force officers have foiled the biggest ever attempt to smuggle cigarettes into the UK after uncovering more than 11million cigarettes at the Port of Felixstowe.

Flossie the bunny, who got separated from its owner at Stansted Airport

Staff at Stansted Airport have taken to social media in an attempt to reunite a lost toy bunny with its owner.

Earl Soham. Credit: Mike Page.

Owners of an east Suffolk business centre are looking to convert some of its older buildings into residential use – while finding new sites for those being displaced.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24