Getting youth to back Swansea Bay's UK City of Culture 2017 bid
Swansea Bay in the final four to be named UK City of Culture 2017 —and the Evening Post is asking some famous faces to tell the world why this is such a special place. Today DJ and branding expert Neil Navarra talks about getting youngsters involved —and the need to think like a Premier League city
YOUNG people need a reason to get behind this bid. Tell them that if they support the bid there will be an end product for them — like a music festival or a skate and surf festival. If it doesn't have a direct impact on them they won't support it.
In Swansea Bay youth culture is based very much on outdoor action sports — surfing, skating etc. There's a fitness culture as well, a culture where it's cool to be fit and active.
You can see from the number of people who are fans of guerrilla fitness, pioneered by Chris Ware of the Warehouse gym in the city centre. It's a rebellion against the big chain gyms with their rows and rows of cardio machines. He's using the natural resources of South Wales to get people fit in the natural environment, and it appeals to a lot of people. Every morning he gets around 70 people sprinting up and down Constitution Hill, or the steps outside County Hall or the sand dunes.
As a brand expert, I would say that Swansea Bay's biggest asset is its geography. I've travelled all over the world but Swansea Bay and Gower wow me every day.
It's got so many dimensions from the city to Mumbles and the bays. That's what makes Swansea unique. The food is another thing we can shout about. Joe's Ice Cream is probably my favourite thing but there is so much more. When I was little my nan had a stall on Swansea Market, and I remember wandering around persuading the stall holders to give me things to eat! I still love Swansea Market. The seafood is tremendous and the meat is amazing quality.
If I had a lot of money to spend on Swansea I would restructure the city centre to try to bring more people back into it. The one-way system doesn't make any sense and the lack of parking makes it difficult for people to come into the centre. We need to connect the city a lot more with the bay and the marina and get retail into the Marina, making it one big city centre. The Swans are in the Premier League now and that will benefit the city. But Swansea Bay needs to start thinking like a premier league city itself if we are to put ourselves on the map.