Delegation in capital to fly the flag for City of Culture

A DELEGATION was due in the capital yesterday as part of the latest bid to turn Hastings & 1066 Country into a city of culture.

The seven strong group was expected to take part in a classification session in Faringdon yesterday afternoon.

Five members boarded the London bound train at Hastings train station.

This included council leader Jeremy Birch, Sally Staples, cultural strategy manager at the county council, Simon Hubbard, director of regeneration at Hastings Borough Council, Michael Hambridge, arts development officer at HBC and Kevin Boorman, manager of 1066 Country Marketing.

Liz Gilmore, director of the Jerwood Gallery and Sarah Kowitz of Fairlight Arts Trust met the delegation in Farringdon after making their own way to the capital.

A series of question had already been sent to the delegation asking about various aspects of the bid and why it should be chosen ahead of the 10 others.

During the next few weeks the judges will decide on a short list of four bids before announcing the winner later in the year.

And Miss Gilmore believes there is no reason why Hastings shouldn’t win.

“Hastings has real integrity,” she said. “The Jerwood Foundation decided to build here because of its rich fishing and cultural heritage with 1066 Country.

“There is an artistic energy in the town which pulls people in from surrounding areas.

“It’s a real magnet for creative people who like the lifestyle, living by the sea and the architecture of the buildings.

“Everyone who lives here knows there’s no reason why Hastings should not win. And we will be checking our facts and affirming our ambitions.”

Council leader Jeremy Birch added: “There is no question that our bid would not be as strong without the Jerwood Gallery presence.

“I’d tell the judges there was not a better weekend to visit Hastings to see why we should win as last weekend. The Chapman brothers were at the Jerwood and a fantastic Catalan group performed for Stade Saturdays.”