£300k arts boost to county tourism

Essex County Standard: £300k arts boost to county tourism £300k arts boost to county tourism

TOURISM in Essex is set to get a “significant boost” after a group led by Colchester’s Firstsite art centre won nearly £300,000 of funding.

The consortium aims to raise the profile of the county’s arts scene and to make it the UK’s premier tourist destination.

The group, which includes the Focal Point Gallery, in Southend, Essex County Council, Colchester Council and Southend Council, has been handed £292,500 by the Arts Council and Visit England.

Matthew Rowe, Firstsite director, said: “It is a significant boost to the Essex tourism economy.

“It is good for tourist attractions and it’s good for businesses and we hope it will kick-start our plans.”

During the next year, some of the cash will be spent on researching the cultural tourism market, including finding out how people travel to Essex, where they like to eat and drink and what they like to see.

By March 2015, Mr Rowe wants a website to be up and running, which allows tourists to plan their trip to Essex.

In the third year, the group aims to make sure any increase in the tourismmarket is sustainable and long-lasting.

Mr Rowe added: “Through this award, there is a wonderful opportunity to help shape the future of tourism in Essex through contemporary culture, helping to reposition Essex as a premier tourist destination.”

The Essex bid is one of ten successful projects allocated funding, as part of the £3million Cultural Destinations programme.

Joe Hill, interim director at Focal Point Gallery, said: “We are really excited to be leading this new project alongside Firstsite.

“We look forward to further developing the cultural profile of the region, through engagement with contemporary art.

“The opportunity to work closer with local businesses to attract new audiences is warmly welcomed and we are keen to get started on the range of campaigns and research this funding will make possible.”

Hedley Swain, south east director of Arts Council England, added: “The contemporary culture showcased by both venues will provide an excellent platform from which a new and exciting dimension can be added to Essex’s tourism sector.

“We look forward to seeing the project bring more visitors to the area and boost the local economy as it begins to flourish.”

Comments (14)

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1:17pm Sun 19 Jan 14

jim_bo says...

A website to help tourists plan their visit, brilliant idea, if only someone with £150,000 to spare had come up with that idea.

Oh hang on what's this I find on google... Colchester tourist information website and it's quite comprehensive. **** you internet seems you've been foiled again Mr Rowe!
A website to help tourists plan their visit, brilliant idea, if only someone with £150,000 to spare had come up with that idea. Oh hang on what's this I find on google... Colchester tourist information website and it's quite comprehensive. **** you internet seems you've been foiled again Mr Rowe! jim_bo
  • Score: 4

1:42pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Checkout says...

Give the money to Jess, he will spend it more wisely I'd say. Mr Rowe, look at http://www.camulos.c
om/
Give the money to Jess, he will spend it more wisely I'd say. Mr Rowe, look at http://www.camulos.c om/ Checkout
  • Score: 4

3:27pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Totally agree with Checkout. Tourists come to see our history and the countryside.
Totally agree with Checkout. Tourists come to see our history and the countryside. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 5

3:47pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Colonel Kurtz says...

Maybe firstsite can display another masterpiece wrecked plane engine. What value for tax payers.... not
Maybe firstsite can display another masterpiece wrecked plane engine. What value for tax payers.... not Colonel Kurtz
  • Score: 4

7:55pm Sun 19 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

Spend on road repairs.
Spend on road repairs. stevedawson
  • Score: 6

10:48pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Smartlad47 says...

Another waste of tax payers money,. ..potholes ? Nurses ? Helping to pay U.K debts ? . . . Well seem to specialise in wasting money as opposed to investing . . .this First Site has been a white elephant and waste of money since day one, so why keep funding a dead donkey . . .
Another waste of tax payers money,. ..potholes ? Nurses ? Helping to pay U.K debts ? . . . Well seem to specialise in wasting money as opposed to investing . . .this First Site has been a white elephant and waste of money since day one, so why keep funding a dead donkey . . . Smartlad47
  • Score: 5

11:04pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Reginald47 says...

stevedawson wrote:
Spend on road repairs.
I don't think the Arts Council does road repairs.
[quote][p][bold]stevedawson[/bold] wrote: Spend on road repairs.[/p][/quote]I don't think the Arts Council does road repairs. Reginald47
  • Score: 1

11:27pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Potholepaddy says...

Reginald47 wrote:
stevedawson wrote:
Spend on road repairs.
I don't think the Arts Council does road repairs.
Well why not give the road repairers a chance to show how artistically they can fill in a pot hole and maybe we can even display the photo's in Firstsite.
[quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stevedawson[/bold] wrote: Spend on road repairs.[/p][/quote]I don't think the Arts Council does road repairs.[/p][/quote]Well why not give the road repairers a chance to show how artistically they can fill in a pot hole and maybe we can even display the photo's in Firstsite. Potholepaddy
  • Score: 5

11:30pm Sun 19 Jan 14

No! I am Spartacus says...

Going to set up a tourism website with a wedge of cash first and THEN work out whether the tourism market is sustainable? Nice and back to front, super.

Perhaps if they actually exhibit something worth visiting in the first place, people might go to the VAF?
Going to set up a tourism website with a wedge of cash first and THEN work out whether the tourism market is sustainable? Nice and back to front, super. Perhaps if they actually exhibit something worth visiting in the first place, people might go to the VAF? No! I am Spartacus
  • Score: 4

11:41pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

No way of changing the Art Council requirement that only contemporary art can be exhibited at the VAF. This automatically excludes all the art by Constable and Munnings. If only the VAF was turned over to a commercial exhibition company with freedom to show what people want to see and pay to come. No subsidies would be required, the council would have a paying tenant and the advertising would be paid for by the exhibition company.
No way of changing the Art Council requirement that only contemporary art can be exhibited at the VAF. This automatically excludes all the art by Constable and Munnings. If only the VAF was turned over to a commercial exhibition company with freedom to show what people want to see and pay to come. No subsidies would be required, the council would have a paying tenant and the advertising would be paid for by the exhibition company. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 4

7:11am Mon 20 Jan 14

jim_bo says...

All very well and good handing over to an exhibition company Andy, but it wouldn't make any money and be shut within a year.

Roman Heritage centre is the way forward, put the "art" back into the Minories and open Colchester for business. If they pulled their fingers out it could open with the Castle!
All very well and good handing over to an exhibition company Andy, but it wouldn't make any money and be shut within a year. Roman Heritage centre is the way forward, put the "art" back into the Minories and open Colchester for business. If they pulled their fingers out it could open with the Castle! jim_bo
  • Score: 5

10:35am Mon 20 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

You may be right Jim but unfortunately Colchester Council refuses to talk about the VAF. Only by an open frank discussion can the facts be brought out and a practical solution found. A huge problem is the annual reduction in government funding to councils and consequently the reduction in essential services. Eventually Colchester Council will have to do more than cutting the handout to the Firstsite parasites. A pity they have wasted so much public money both from the local taxpayer and Art Council on a project doomed to fail before it was started. They were warned before, during and after the VAF was built and arrogantly refused to listen.
You may be right Jim but unfortunately Colchester Council refuses to talk about the VAF. Only by an open frank discussion can the facts be brought out and a practical solution found. A huge problem is the annual reduction in government funding to councils and consequently the reduction in essential services. Eventually Colchester Council will have to do more than cutting the handout to the Firstsite parasites. A pity they have wasted so much public money both from the local taxpayer and Art Council on a project doomed to fail before it was started. They were warned before, during and after the VAF was built and arrogantly refused to listen. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Jess Jephcott says...

I cannot agree with Andy Hamilton as I accept there is a need for the arts in Colchester in a multitude of forms - including what Firstsite offers to us. I don't particularly enjoy what I see there but then the people at Firstsite probably don't enjoy the stuff that I enjoy. It is undoubtedly a wonderful asset to the town. Then again I have no interest in sport. But hey! We are a diverse people and well done to Firstsite for getting this financial support. Better it comes to us than anybody else. But reading the above comments, it seems that we are in danger of becoming polarised with what we think Colchester has to offer the visitor. My view is that we offer just about everything. Yes Andy, people come here for for our history and countryside. But they also come for the zoo, shopping, dining, relaxation in general, etc. and the more we can offer them, the more likely they are to stay for more than a day, giving a need for hotel accommodation and producing a healthy and vibrant economy for our great town. Sadly though, our council has no money to promote much of what we have and it is left to others to do their bit. Our Visitor Information Centre is a huge disappointment to me and to others. Thank you for mentioning www.camulos.com, where I try to assist our heritage curious visitors to understand what we have to offer, in addition to all our other attractions. Roll on the re-opening of the castle. It has been closed for too long and Colchester has suffered because of it.
I cannot agree with Andy Hamilton as I accept there is a need for the arts in Colchester in a multitude of forms - including what Firstsite offers to us. I don't particularly enjoy what I see there but then the people at Firstsite probably don't enjoy the stuff that I enjoy. It is undoubtedly a wonderful asset to the town. Then again I have no interest in sport. But hey! We are a diverse people and well done to Firstsite for getting this financial support. Better it comes to us than anybody else. But reading the above comments, it seems that we are in danger of becoming polarised with what we think Colchester has to offer the visitor. My view is that we offer just about everything. Yes Andy, people come here for for our history and countryside. But they also come for the zoo, shopping, dining, relaxation in general, etc. and the more we can offer them, the more likely they are to stay for more than a day, giving a need for hotel accommodation and producing a healthy and vibrant economy for our great town. Sadly though, our council has no money to promote much of what we have and it is left to others to do their bit. Our Visitor Information Centre is a huge disappointment to me and to others. Thank you for mentioning www.camulos.com, where I try to assist our heritage curious visitors to understand what we have to offer, in addition to all our other attractions. Roll on the re-opening of the castle. It has been closed for too long and Colchester has suffered because of it. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 4

10:06pm Mon 20 Jan 14

super waluigi says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
I cannot agree with Andy Hamilton as I accept there is a need for the arts in Colchester in a multitude of forms - including what Firstsite offers to us. I don't particularly enjoy what I see there but then the people at Firstsite probably don't enjoy the stuff that I enjoy. It is undoubtedly a wonderful asset to the town. Then again I have no interest in sport. But hey! We are a diverse people and well done to Firstsite for getting this financial support. Better it comes to us than anybody else. But reading the above comments, it seems that we are in danger of becoming polarised with what we think Colchester has to offer the visitor. My view is that we offer just about everything. Yes Andy, people come here for for our history and countryside. But they also come for the zoo, shopping, dining, relaxation in general, etc. and the more we can offer them, the more likely they are to stay for more than a day, giving a need for hotel accommodation and producing a healthy and vibrant economy for our great town. Sadly though, our council has no money to promote much of what we have and it is left to others to do their bit. Our Visitor Information Centre is a huge disappointment to me and to others. Thank you for mentioning www.camulos.com, where I try to assist our heritage curious visitors to understand what we have to offer, in addition to all our other attractions. Roll on the re-opening of the castle. It has been closed for too long and Colchester has suffered because of it.
Jesse, you amaze me. Often, you appear so narrow minded on your opinions and then, BAM, you say something very neutral and balanced. A very good and unbiased view.
I would like to say that I agree. I hate modern art. It never inspires me, ever. But that does not mean it does not inspire someone. I love Col U, even though 98% of Colchester could not care less about them.

I say well done to them for the money. Perhaps if the haters aimed their anger at the people responsible for the pot holes and not the arts, maybe something might be done about it.
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: I cannot agree with Andy Hamilton as I accept there is a need for the arts in Colchester in a multitude of forms - including what Firstsite offers to us. I don't particularly enjoy what I see there but then the people at Firstsite probably don't enjoy the stuff that I enjoy. It is undoubtedly a wonderful asset to the town. Then again I have no interest in sport. But hey! We are a diverse people and well done to Firstsite for getting this financial support. Better it comes to us than anybody else. But reading the above comments, it seems that we are in danger of becoming polarised with what we think Colchester has to offer the visitor. My view is that we offer just about everything. Yes Andy, people come here for for our history and countryside. But they also come for the zoo, shopping, dining, relaxation in general, etc. and the more we can offer them, the more likely they are to stay for more than a day, giving a need for hotel accommodation and producing a healthy and vibrant economy for our great town. Sadly though, our council has no money to promote much of what we have and it is left to others to do their bit. Our Visitor Information Centre is a huge disappointment to me and to others. Thank you for mentioning www.camulos.com, where I try to assist our heritage curious visitors to understand what we have to offer, in addition to all our other attractions. Roll on the re-opening of the castle. It has been closed for too long and Colchester has suffered because of it.[/p][/quote]Jesse, you amaze me. Often, you appear so narrow minded on your opinions and then, BAM, you say something very neutral and balanced. A very good and unbiased view. I would like to say that I agree. I hate modern art. It never inspires me, ever. But that does not mean it does not inspire someone. I love Col U, even though 98% of Colchester could not care less about them. I say well done to them for the money. Perhaps if the haters aimed their anger at the people responsible for the pot holes and not the arts, maybe something might be done about it. super waluigi
  • Score: 0

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