Plymouth will celebrate its historic, unique and scientific connections with the sea and all things marine in its first Marine City Festival, to be held in September this year.
The Festival aims to raise awareness, nationally and internationally, of Plymouth’s role as a leading UK marine city, for research, leisure, heritage and food. As well as attracting local residents, families and visitors to the City to enjoy a range of fabulous events and activities, the Festival will also challenge and encourage key thinkers, academics, environmentalists, writers and others to debate one of the hottest topics around – the future sustainability of our seas and oceans.
The Festival (www.marinecityfestival.co.uk) will combine world-leading scientific debate on the future of our oceans with a varied and exciting range of marine related events and activities, including:
+ Oceans of Potential – a world leading marine science conference with Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the Plymouth Marine Sciences and featuring BBC broadcaster Monty Halls
+ The opening of the prestigious new Marine Sciences Building at Plymouth University as part of its 150 year Anniversary
+ A fabulous seafood festival focussing on sustainably sourced fish in the lively and atmospheric Barbican and Sutton Harbours – featuring locally caught seafood and top local chefs
+ Paddling, swimming and kayaking as part of the mass participation Ecover “Blue Mile” event
+ Learning and great family fun at Just Add H2O with the National Marine Aquarium
+ Celebrating and experiencing art, music and performance with the City Museum, Peninsula Arts and Plymouth Arts Centre throughout the Festival
+ A major marine business expo with bespoke events for inward investors, buyers and sellers
Throughout the week the Festival will play host to a varied programme of family events and activities based around the Waterfront organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and cultural events, performances and exhibitions supported by the Plymouth Culture Board and partners.
Festival organisers want the event to become internationally renowned, showcasing the best of everything Plymouth has to offer, a “signature event” inspiring visitors to come to the City and providing opportunities for local communities to reconnect with the sea.
Duncan Currall, Chairman of Destination Plymouth, said: “Last year’s America’s Cup World Series highlighted just how well Plymouth can put on a world class event – centred on our unique maritime location but also encompassing wider opportunities to attract visitors and investors.
“The Plymouth Marine City Festival brings together all that is best in Plymouth, from our unique coastal environment to the city’s marine enterprise and research strengths and our growing reputation for great food.
“The result is a programme that caters to a broad audience, which will attract visitors and investors and which can become a nationally significant recurring festival that will allow the city to make the claim that Plymouth is the UK’s Marine City.”
Cabinet Member for Planning, Strategic Housing and Economic Development, Councillor Ted Fry said: “This festival is part of an exciting programme of events that will bring in visitors to our amazing city, but also give our residents the chance to learn more about some of the superb work that goes on in our city as well as have some fun.”
In tandem with the development of the Marine City Festival, a series of thought provoking articles is being published during 2012 with the first (by Professor Martin Attrill, Director of the Marine Institute at Plymouth University, and BBC broadcaster and marine biologist Monty Halls) calling for a national debate over marine management. See this link for more details…