County Council endorses Wells City of Culture bid

Somerset County Council’s Cabinet today gave its backing to the Wells bid to become the City of Culture in 2021.

Representatives from Visit Somerset told councillors that the recently announced bid has already created a lot of interest and excitement and would benefit tourism in the city and beyond.

Cabinet agreed to formally support for the work to produce an expression of interest to City of Culture status that needs to be submitted before the end of April.

Leader of the Council, Councillor John Osman, who is also local member for Wells, said: “Tourism contributes a significant amount to the Somerset economy. This bid can only add value to that and we welcome this exciting initiative.

“The first hurdle is submitting an expression of interest and we wish them well as they put together the case for England’s smallest and Somerset’s only city. On a personal note, I can vouch for what a fantastic place it is to live, with a rich and vibrant heritage, community and culture. I wish the bid team all the best.”

John Turner, Chief Executive of Visit Somerset and strategic board member of the Wells City of Culture Bid, spoke at the meeting and was happy to receive the backing of the County Council.

“Presenting to Somerset County Council it was very apparent that we all see the huge benefits of putting an official bid forward for Wells for the City of Culture in 2021,” he said.

“Wells is one of the jewels in Somerset’s crown and the smallest city in England. It deserves all the publicity and potential exposure that this status would bring. Wells is rich in history with a really vibrant and dynamic cultural scene that we will be sure to reflect in our bid proposal. We look forward to working with Somerset County Council in advancing the bid forward.”