Winning culture title could be worth up to £70m for bay region
SWANSEA Bay is in line for a £70 million cash bonanza if its crowned the UK City of Culture.
The major cash injection will be the five-year legacy of the prestigious festival thanks to a predicted sharp increase in tourist spend in the region.
Staging the event in 2017 will come with a £14.5 million price tag and it will cost £12 million during the year to host.
A further £2.5 million will be invested in the run up and lead out events as part of the celebration.
The city region partnership has pledged £6.2 million of investment into the bid.
Both the Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government are also backing the battle for the area to host the event.
A Cwtch The Bid spokesman said the City of Culture would be a tremendous boost for the region.
He said: "The prediction is that there will be an increase in tourism spend of £70 million over the next five years if we win the City of Culture bid. The city region partnership has committed £6.2 million to the bid and we are also being supported by the Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government."
The spokesman said the whole ethos of its bid was about improving people's lives, making better places and raising prosperity.
Hollywood actor Michael Sheen, TV scriptwriter Russell T Davies, are among the celebrities supporting the campaign to make Swansea Bay the City of Culture.
The spokesman said the region was awash with a list of high-profile people.
"We punch above our weight, as it's not just the Hollywood stars, it's the composer Karl Jenkins, it's the singer-songwriter Pete Ham and the ball bearing and tarmac was also invented in the Swansea Bay area," he added.
"Culture is about going to see your children's performance with Mark Jermin's Dance School and is part of people's day-to-day lives.
"Culture is ordinary — that's the theme.
"It's a rags to riches story of how our football team got to the top and is now in the Europa League.
"Football is the culture, rugby is the culture and Joe's ice cream is the culture."
He said: "The reason people come here is the scenery.
"We also have great music, art and two fantastic universities at the cutting edge of research.
"The land speed record breaking team is from Swansea and it's at the cutting edge of architectural stained glass.
"It's about getting over that we have a bit more than Dylan Thomas and dragons — culture is about improving people's lives."
The spokesman said the social impact of the bid was equally as important.
"The city of culture will also have an impact in tackling health inequalities and changing perceptions of the local area, as well as improving connections within and between individuals and communities," he said.
Dundee, Hull and Leicester are all in the running for the City of Culture crown and a final decision will be made on the host area next month.