The man behind iconic TV shows such as Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks came to Swansea on Monday (23 October) as part of the judging panel for the city’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.
Phil Redmond and members of the panel headed to the city to meet with some of the team behind the bid which is a true ‘Team Swansea’ approach including many of the city’s major businesses and organisations – from both Universities and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Authority to the city’s creative professionals and arts and cultural leaders.
With more and more people backing the bid every day with Swansea 2021’s Facebook likes now standing at just under 13,000, the team behind the bid are urging everyone to show their support on social media on Monday using the #Swansea2021 hashtag and show the judges how much Swansea wants to be UK City of Culture 2021.
The Swansea 2021 campaign has been gathering pace over the last few weeks with many leading figures praising the city’s bid for the prestigious title. Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea Business Improvement District (BID) which represents 850 businesses in the city centre, said:
“I have spoken to my BID colleagues in Hull and they have told me about the massive impact the UK City of Culture status has had on them and their members. Footfall and revenues have risen significantly so if Swansea gets this we have a lot to gain.
“This could be one of the most important things to happen to Swansea in terms of inward investment, jobs and prosperity. So we now all need to pull out all the stops and show the judging panel how much we want – and need – this.”
Rhoslyn Harrison from Mumbles Pier said:
“This is vital for Swansea. We believe Swansea will receive a much-needed boost from becoming UK City of Culture. Not just in economic terms but in terms of its own belief. Swansea has so much to offer and in a growing trend of ‘staycations’ we believe winning the bid will raise out profile to the rest of the UK and the world, cementing us as a place not just to visit, but to invest and to grow.”
Phil Roberts, Chief Executive of Swansea Council, said:
“This will be the first time the UK City of Culture judges have visited Swansea as a part of this important process and we cannot wait to show our city in the best light. We are very proud of the cultural riches, the natural beauty and the strong community spirit we have here in Swansea and we want to show the judges the fine bedrock we have to build upon and the potential we have, if we win this important bid, to create a cultural beacon in this part of the world.
“The Swansea 2021 Facebook and Twitter accounts have been alive with messages of support, comments, films and images since our UK City of Culture bid was launched and we hope all of our supporters will help to whip up a storm there during this important visit by the team of judges, using the #Swansea2021 hashtag, to keep that momentum going!”
After they have visited all the finalist cities, the panel will deliberate before delivering their decision in the current UK City of Culture, Hull, in December.