Brighton and Hove could become one of the UK’s leading cultural cities, a new council report suggests.
Last year, the city council pulled out of the running to become the first official UK City of Culture in 2013, saying the estimated £10m price tag was too much.
Now, it is asking for feedback on its own plans to make the Brighton and Hove
In the foreward to the draft cultural strategy, Scott Marshall, the council’s director for culture and enterprise, said: “Culture is one of the driving forces of this city and has been for hundreds of years; it is the city’s past, its present and what this strategy sets out to do, is to set out what culture will mean to its future.
“There is a particular link in Brighton & Hove between our cultural sector and the success of our economy.”
The report says: “Brighton & Hove is the creative powerhouse of the region and has the potential to become a national cultural leader.”
It adds: “By standing still, the citywill lose its place. Competition from elsewhere in the UK and Europe could challenge the city’s leading position.
“It has the opportunity to achieve andmaintain a national prominence it has not achieved before. It is the time for the city to show leadership.”
The strategy’s proposals include increasing the number of free cultural events, like the White Night festival and the Book and the Rose literary festival.
It also suggests using more empty buildings to display “destination images”, as it has with shops in Gloucester Place.
Improving the preservation and access to the city’s historic buildings, improving child and adult literacy and use of online resources and museums, and developing a programme for 2012 are also proposed.
One in five people in Brighton and Hove are employed in its tourism sector, which contributes more than £400m into the local economy, and one in ten in its creative and cultural industries, which is the city’s fastest growing business sector.
The council is looking for feedback, or examples of events it could use as case studies. To respond, email email@example.com by 30 April.