Hartlepool’s profile could be raised massively thanks to the Tees Valley’s bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2025.
That’s the view of David Worthington, the head of culture and information at Hartlepool Borough Council and he believes the town already has plenty of major selling points to help it win the bid.
It will bring closer collaboration with our partner authorities in the Tees Valley. It will also massively raise the profile of Hartlepool and the Tees Valley nationally. The fact that we are even bidding is a massive profile-raising exerciseDavid Worthington, head of culture and information at Hartlepool Borough Council
It hosted a leg of The Tall Ships Races in 2010, it has strong art galleries and libraries and Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience now has links to the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
Mr Worthington spoke out just hours after it was revealed that the Tees Valley intended to bid.
Representatives from Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), Teesside University, the five Tees Valley local authorities, including Hartlepool Borough Council, Arts Council England and other cultural groups made the recommendation as part of a broader culture report.
Those representatives made up the Task and Finish Group which has spent the last year exploring how to enhance the Tees Valley’s cultural offer, and ensure it better supports the area’s ambitious economic plans.
As part of this work the group has proposed that TVU and its partners should declare an intent to bid for UK City of Culture 2025.
Mr Worthington said: “Hartlepool is a major player as one of the five local authorities. We have an excellent track record of running events like The Tall Ships Races.”
He also highlighted how the National Museum of the Royal Navy was expected to join forces with Hartlepool Borough Council and the Trincomalee Trust to run the Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience as a single site operation.
Mr Worthington added: “We have the art gallery which is attracting great numbers of visitors and we have a strong library service.”
The final bidding process is not expected to take place until 2020.
But Mr Worthington believes that, even the fact that the Tees Valley was putting in a bid, would have an impact for Hartlepool.
“It will bring closer collaboration with our partner authorities in the Tees Valley.
“It will also massively raise the profile of Hartlepool and the Tees Valley nationally. The fact that we are even bidding is a massive profile-raising exercise.
“If we are then successful in the bid, we will benefit because there will be a great focus for the year of 2025 on culture.
“Our venues would be very much to the fore and we would have opportunities to run top events.”
Mr Worthington said Hartlepool’s maritime history could play a part in any events if the bid was successful.