Rye area set to play key role in big culture bid

Rye flame
Rye flame

RYE is set to play a leading role in a culture bid which if successful could bring millions of pounds on investment and tourism revenue to the area.

The Hastings and Bexhill bid for UK City of Culture has been widened to include 1066 Country and rural Rother.

The area is currently on a list of 11 places in the UK and hoping to be included in the shortlist of four, which will be announced in June.

Current holder of the title Derry enjoyed more than £100 million of investment and economic activity as a result of winning the bid.

The Rye and Battle area being brought into the bid has seen odds for success halved (see page 7).

Rye’s involvement was welcomed by Rye Bay Marketing and Rye Hotels and Caterers Association.

Chairman John Smith described it as a “win-win situation” and said: “It is a brilliant idea and we are wholeheartedly behind it.

“Even if the bid does not succeed this will still put Rye in the public eye and consciousness.”

Rother Council leader Carl Maynard said: “Rye is one of the most beautiful places in the country and is known for its cultural creativity and sense of community.

“Wider Rother is essential to any bid and we hope residents get behind and back it.”

Kevin Boorman, from 1066 Country and Hastings Borough Council, said: “We always expected it would be much bigger than just Hastings and Bexhill.

“There are so many cultural things going on and we want to do justice to the whole area.

“If we can attract more visitors to the area that will be great for us.”

The bid comes at a time when Rye Creative Centre, which is home to international artists, has had its future secured

Residents and visitors can back the bid by ‘liking’ the official Hastings and 1066 Country UK City of Culture 2017 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hastingsbexhillcityofculture or by using the hashtag #1066cityofculture on Twitter.