Sheffield City of Culture bid cost £154k

CITY OF CULTURE ANNOUNCEMENT Listening to the announcement of the winning city in the Winter Garden. 15 July 2010
CITY OF CULTURE ANNOUNCEMENT Listening to the announcement of the winning city in the Winter Garden. 15 July 2010
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SHEFFIELD’S unsuccessful bid to become the first UK Capital of Culture cost the council £154,000, the authority has revealed.

Figures obtained as part of The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign show £54,000 was spent on consultants, £30,000 on marketing and promotion and £70,000 on bid development and administration.

The bid, two years ago, was described as ‘a gamble which didn’t pay off’ by Mick Daniels, who chairs Brushes Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, in Firth Park.

He said: “Agreeing to spend the money was a two-way thing. If the bid was successful it would have been money well spent but, otherwise, it’s money wasted.

“It’s a gamble - had we been successful, the event could have brought in more money and prestige.”

Terry Andrews, of Base Green Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said: “It’s like putting the lottery on.

“If the city had been successful, nobody would have complained about spending the money.”

Sheffield Council said the bid has still brought benefits to the city - despite losing out to Londonderry, in Northern Ireland which will bear the title next year.

Director of culture and environment Paul Billington said the bid raised the ‘profile of the city’s cultural status both nationally and internationally’.

He said: “The work behind the bid acted as a catalyst to bring together all the arts and cultural organisations in the city and provided the basis for Sheffield’s new culture strategy.

“Examples of success since the bid include over 3.5 million visits to the city’s arts programmes, our events programme delivering over £8m of positive economic impact, national awards for the Tramlines music festival and the Food Festival and the Millennium Galleries posting its most popular exhibition ever, The Family in British Art, which ran until the end of April.”