Cornwall should be shouting!
An ambitious bid to have Cornwall named Europe's first
Region of Culture is to be launched.
Research has begun to find out exactly what people think
of Cornwall and the results will form the basis of the bid.
If successful, Cornwall could stand alongside Cities of Culture
which have included Glasgow, Luxembourg and Cork, where the
designation has proved to be a huge economic boost.
So far just under 300 people have expressed their views.
Now it is hoped that the rest of Cornwall will have their
say. Next month a series of workshops will be held with all
sorts of groups, to explore the themes further. And in May
the results will be placed at 15 favourite venues with everyone
invited to comment, argue and put the record straight as they
Miranda Bird, who commissioned the research for Cornwall
Arts Marketing, said: "This is only the beginning!
We really want to get people going with this – there
won't be one answer but there most certainly will be
a lot of controversy and argument - then everyone can join
together to back our bid and stand by their reasons for supporting
their region – Europe's First Region of Culture."
The research so far, which was carried out from December
2005 to February this year, involved mostly people living
in Cornwall who were questioned at four different locations.
Those who live here but were not 'born and bred'
spoke often about having developed a strong sense of belonging
because of the way they have been treated.
Others results so far include:
||The person most respected or admired locally is Tim
Smit, with media figures and those in the rescue and emergency
services tying in a close second. At the other end of
the scale politicians and councillors are in most disfavour.
||Recent investment and development are cited as being
the main reason for hope followed by the people - but
the people were also the top choice for making respondents
feel hopeless with their 'negativity and pessimism'.
A sense of unity is mentioned as being most strongly engendered
by community activities, with the Cornish identity and
symbols in a close second.
||The best thing about living in Cornwall is the scenery,
landscape and environment and the worst things, in close
succession, are the traffic and transport followed by
||Asked which building should be saved from demolition,
Truro Cathedral topped the poll very clearly but those
questioned said bulldozers should be called in to a number
of 'concrete' piles - housing shops, offices,
Cornwall County Council and much of St Austell.
||The opposite ends of the day are favourite times with
the morning just ahead of sunset.
||Young people and first time buyers inspired the greatest
concern and those that respondents would most like to
meet are each other – more local people!
||Favourite activities are the beach and the outdoors.
For further information please contact Rachael Clayton of
Ashley Public Relations on 01579 370991.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in Cornwall Arts Marketing through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The European Capital of Culture programme is a powerful mechanism
for celebrating urban life and encouraging urban cultural
development. However most of Europe's land-mass by far
is rural, with much of it holding a diversity of cultural
riches that affect the daily lives of millions of European
The challenges for delivering education, for engaging with
young people, for enjoying sport and for creating a sense
of belonging and community for all citizens in rural settings
are very different from those in urban environments and the
need for a unifying sense of culture is, if anything, more
vital for the rural dweller.
Cornwall is a rural area with a population of just over 500,000
and with less than 25,000 living in its one city, Truro. In
fact two thirds of the people of Cornwall live outside the
towns. It is, therefore highly dispersed, with a coastline
of 697 km and a small group of inhabited islands lying 35km
offshore. The county has a low wage economy and as a whole,
it receives support from Europe's Objective One Programme.
Cornwall's distinctive physical environment has shaped
its culture and has influenced a strong sense of identity,
place and community that touches all of its citizens in some
Research has been started to discover what are perceived
to be the key components of Cornish culture. The findings
will be used to encourage greater involvement by the broad
population within the county and those from similar areas
across Europe, in the further development, the enjoyment,
the education, the economic power and the celebration of that
The people of Cornwall are very generous, sharing as they
do their beautiful county and its culture annually with over
5 million visitors. With the spotlight of European accreditation,
this rich culture would be shared with other rural areas across
the EU and dialogues would be established that would especially
benefit Europe's rural population.
Cornwall will set out on this path of research, dissemination
and celebration as Europe's First Region of Culture
and as has already begun, it will involve similar areas elsewhere,
in recent accession countries as well as those who have long
enjoyed the benefits of belonging to the European Union.
Dynamic Case Study
This project will become a dynamic case study for the social
and economic impacts of culture in rural settings. It will
include long held traditions and developing innovations and
it will be brought together, promoted and shared using grass
roots techniques as well as up to the minute technologies.
It will also put in place a framework in which the planned
European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, in 2008, can be more
sure of involving citizens who are dispersed across rural
areas but who, nevertheless have important contributions to
As well as those interpreted from the application requirements
for the capital of culture to:
||Highlight artistic movements and styles shared by Europeans
which it has inspired or to which it has made a significant
||Promote events involving people active in culture from
other European areas and leading to lasting cultural cooperation;
||Support and develop creative work;
||Ensure the mobilisation and participation of as many
citizens as possible and guarantee that this participation
will continue after the event;
||Encourage visits by citizens of the European Union and
to reach as wide an audience as possible;
||Promote dialogue between European cultures and those
from other parts of the world;
||Enhance the historic heritage, rural architecture and
quality of life in the area
This project will also promote the value of a vibrant culture
that is shared and developed across a rural population.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439