The Steering Team for the Wells UK City of Culture 2021 Bid launched its plans in front of an invited audience on Monday night.
The venue for the event was the historic Swan Hotel in the centre of Wells and guests arrived to find jugglers, unicyclists and hula hoopers from Wookey Hole Circus performing outside the hotel. Guests were then greeted in the Garden Room by members of Wells Cathedral’s Vicars Choral who sang a selection of popular tunes including ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. The refreshments on offer showcased some of the region’s star products including Brothers’ Cider (made in Shepton Mallet) and Mike Pullins’ Somerset Cheese.
Guests included The Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, Tessa Munt, John Osman, the Dean of Wells, The Very Revd Dr John Davies and representatives from the councils of Shepton Mallet, Wells, Glastonbury and Frome, along with leaders of tourism businesses, schools, charities and commercial businesses in the Mendip area.
A presentation was given by the Steering Team, led by Andrew Webb, and John Turner (CEO of Visit Somerset) setting out the scope of the project and hinting at the vision for Wells and Mendip to unite under a cultural umbrella to draw the national and international spotlight onto the region.
A variety of questions, suggestions and support were contributed by the guests after the presentation, with the Steering Team vowing to take all feedback on board.
The Team has just over two weeks before the final submission date to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and as the guests left The Swan Hotel it seemed that there was a buzz of excitement in the air – maybe Wells really could be the next UK City of Culture!