Theatre in Wales

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North Wales hopes for spin-offs     

THE capital of culture programme in Liverpool in 2008 could bring spin-offs for nearby North Wales.

Administrators at some cultural venues and events in the north-east were starting to think yesterday about how they turn Liverpool's success to their advantage.

Although many were dismayed that Cardiff lost out, some believe there may be an opportunity to promote North Wales to people who visit Liverpool for cultural events in 2008.

Nigel Davies, spokesman for the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, said, "Liverpool is only an hour away from us. There's obviously marketing opportunities there that can be utilised.

"It's unfortunate that Cardiff didn't receive the status. Having a European city of culture in Wales would have an excellent offshoot for all the other parts of Wales.

"But we've got the next best thing. Having Liverpool next door is something we should utilise."

Terry Hands, director of Clwyd Theatr Cymru, in Mold, said it was now important to make the most of celebrations in 2005-06 of Cardiff's centenary as a city and its 50th anniversary as a capital.

"We were totally behind the Cardiff bid. We're very sorry that we didn't win but, that said, I always thought Liverpool and Cardiff needed it most. The fact it's gone to Liverpool is sad for us, but acceptable," said Mr Hands.

"I'm hoping that all the energy and work that's been done on Cardiff's capital of culture bid will be refocused on Cardiff celebrating its status in 2005 and 2006. We could still win, despite the judges."

About a quarter of the audiences at Clwyd Theatr Cymru are drawn from the Wirral peninsula and Liverpool, but Mr Hands did not expect a significant increase while Liverpool was capital of culture.

The Rev D Ben Rees, chairman of Liverpool Rotary Club, said his adopted city's designation in 2008 would create job opportunities for people in North Wales.

"They're talking about 15,000 jobs. Many of those could go to people who will be living in North Wales and travelling to Liverpool, as many people do now," he said.

"I expected Cardiff to lose because I don't think it's in the same class as Liverpool. Cardiff has lots of wonderful things but it's a smaller city and hasn't generated the broad culture that we've got in Liverpool. We've got popular culture like The Beatles, two Premiership football teams, the Tate Gallery and great buildings and history."

Western Mail  
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Monday, May 05, 2003back



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