Culture bid cost Hastings £9k - but nothing to Rother

THE bid to make Hastings and 1066 County the City of Culture 2017 cost Hastings taxpayers more than £9,000 - but nothing to those living in Rother.

Hastings and 1066 Country was one of 11 destinations that bid for the prestigious title, which included Leicester, Aberdeen, Portsmouth, and Dundee. The bid was eventually won by Hull.

But despite losing out on the title, Hastings Borough Council leader Jeremy Birch said the bid generated major interest in the area and was worth every penny.

The question of cost was raised by former Hastings councillor Matthew J Lock at a recent meeting.

Cllr Birch said: “The total direct cost to Hastings Borough Council of the City of Culture bid was £9,218.80.

“This included hire of venues to hold meetings and refreshments at those meetings, and support for an advertising feature in the local newspaper.

“The bid had the support of arts, education and business communities and of local resident organisations, the three local authorities with responsibilities within 1066 Country and of local MPs.

“It is not possible to put a value to the officer time spent on the City of Culture bid as all officers involved did so as part of their core duties ie their working on the bid did not incur any additional direct costs to the authority.

“Although we weren’t ultimately successful, this investment - from our marketing budget - brought us considerable local, regional and national publicity, virtually all of it very positive.”

Other costs incurred by the council include £2,600 for refreshments at a symposium and other meetings held at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.

A Rother District Council spokesperson said: “There has been no cost at all to Rother from the City of Culture bid, other than a small amount of officer time in assisting Hastings Borough Council with the bid.”