City of Culture team to face judging panel

23/5/13- The City of Culture delegation from Hastings leaving for London to present their case.  Cllr Jeremy Birch with Simon Hubbard, Michael Hambridge and Kevin Boorman.
23/5/13- The City of Culture delegation from Hastings leaving for London to present their case. Cllr Jeremy Birch with Simon Hubbard, Michael Hambridge and Kevin Boorman.

A DELEGATION was due in the capital yesterday (Thursday) as part of the latest bid to turn Hastings and 1066 Country into a city of culture.

The seven strong group was expected to take part in a classification session in Farringdon yesterday afternoon.

Five members boarded the London bound train at Hastings train station.

This included council leader Jeremy Birch, Sally Staples, cultural strategy manager at the county council, Simon Hubbard, director of regeneration at Hastings Borough Council, Michael Hambridge, arts development officer at HBC and Kevin Boorman, manager of 1066 Country Marketing.

Liz Gilmore, director of the Jerwood Gallery and Sarah Kowitz of Fairlight Arts Trust met the delegation in Farringdon after making their own way to the capital.

A series of question had already been sent to the delegation asking about various aspects of the bid and why it should be chosen ahead of the 10 others.

During the next few weeks the judges will decide on a short list of four bids, to be revealed in June, before announcing the winner later in the year.

Initially the bid was named the Hastings and Bexhill UK City of Culture bid, before being rebranded to 1066 Country to take in Battle, Rye and the surrounding area.

Because of the historical significance of Battle, the town is considered a key part of the bid.

If the bid is successful, a special event is planned at the 1066 Battle Abbey and Battlefield in October 2017 to mark the 951st anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Speaking to the Observer at the launch of the Visit Battle promotional film this week, Kevin Boorman of 1066 Country Marketing said: “I am really pleased we have been able to extend it to 1066 Country.

“Battle is key to the offer.

“The whole area is really historical but Battle is where the battle took place and if it goes well we are planning something spectacular for October 2017.”