Taxpayers to help fund £21 million Plymouth 'historic and cultural centre' (From This is The West Country)
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Taxpayers to help fund £21 million Plymouth 'historic and cultural centre'
12:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in Devon
Taxpayers are set to pump £3.5 million into a £21million "exciting historic and cultural centre" in Plymouth.
The city;s council says the centre will "proudly bring to life the city’s rich history and tell the stories of some of the city’s legends and heroes, such as Scott, Darwin and Drake.
Plymouth City Council says it hopes to attract more visitors, create local jobs and boost the city’s economy, as well as providing more opportunities for residents to discover the city they live in by developing a ‘not to be missed’ attraction that will open by January 2018.
The plans will transform the existing Museum on North Hill into a cutting-edge, interactive centre, three times its existing size in a project that will need a £21M investment. These plans improve and add to previous proposals for a ‘History Centre’.
The Council plans to bid for up to £13M from the Heritage Lottery’s national programme, plus smaller bids to other funding bodies. However, due to claimed economic benefits to the city, The council's cabinet is being asked to agree to a financial commitment of £3.5M from the Council’s Investment Fund.
Leader of the council, councillor Tudor Evans, said: “It’s time to think big. If we want to compete for national and international tourism we must have attractions that people want to visit! When we launched Plymouth as Britain’s Ocean City, we meant it. This is one of the major pieces of work that will ensure we live up to our new title.”
“This new attraction will transform the way people discover the city's history and culture using the very latest in audio and visual technology. The £21M project will see the Museum turned on its head. It will be exciting, interesting and will attract visitors in its own right.”
The basic concept is to bring together the city's historic objects and archives with films from the South West Film and Television Archive and the photographs from the South West Image Bank.
It will tell the story of Scott, Darwin, the Mayflower, Drake, the Naval dockyard, the Beatles on the Hoe, the blitz, the Cattedown bones and of pirates.
The council claims that early conversations with city leaders show "strong support for the project", which will link with Plymouth University, Plymouth College of Art, the MOD, the Register Office, the South West Film and Television Archives and the South West Image Bank Archive, plus many others.
More detail of the project will emerge later in the year after interested groups have been consulted and information is prepared for funding bids.
Councillor Evans added: “When we pull this off, it will be the biggest thing ever to happen to Plymouth in terms of celebrating our history and heritage. It will be epic!”
What do you think, money well spent in an era of austerity, or a vital boost to the city? Have you say below.
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