City of Culture bid – £170,000, not £500,000

“But what about the wasteful City of Culture bid for Truro?” we hear people ask. 

The fact is that the £500,000 figure is grossly over stated and incorrect, and this has been accepted by the Conservative group, although some still use the figure to try to claim we can’t manage finances. So here are the facts:

-          The current “cost” to the council tax payer is less than £170,000 and reducing as more partners come on board.

-          The Council has underwritten £336,000 (not spent  £500,000), which is mainly to put on events in Cornwall in the summer and autumn for people to enjoy (Man Engine perhaps).

-          So far HALF of this £336,000 has been raised from partners and businesses, so the underwrite is currently less than £170,000.

-          As a direct result of the bid, Cornwall will get £500,000 from the Arts Council over the next 3 years which will help investment in our important creative industries.

-          The idea was proposed by the Conservative Secretary of State with the promise of £100k of central funds to help the bid, and championed by an Independent councillor, so in fact it was a Conservative idea.

-          It has nothing to do with the EU – it is the Council of Europe – a very different institution.

-          A UK town will win, it is the UK’s turn, so why not a Cornish town rather than Leeds, Milton Keynes or Dundee?

-          Such bids are proven, even as bids, to generate more than is spent on them for local economies and if successful the positive impact for Cornwall will be significant.

One or two Conservative councillors seem hell bent on rubbishing Cornwall and our creative industries to score political points. This approach is simply not in Cornwall’s best interests.

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