Published: 12:17, 04 September 2020
| Updated: 12:27, 04 September 2020
Medway's bid to become UK City of Culture 2025 has officially launched with the unveiling of new branding and a website, plus an invitation for people to get involved.
Over the next year, the Towns are campaigning to clinch the prestigious title which would result in a programme of high-profile events which will boost the local economy.
The bid is being shaped by Medway’s people, businesses and organisations with more than 450 residents of all ages involved to date.
It would see green spaces, high streets, stadiums and shopping centres turned into galleries and theatres, showcasing local and national creative talent.
It is being supported by Medway Place Board, the Towns' four local universities, Mid Kent College, Medway Council and significant numbers of local businesses, charities and community groups.
Bid chiefs are inviting people to "Back Medway", show their support and have their say on the best way to win the contest.
It is currently seeking local trustees and working group members and inviting community groups to host workshops to develop the bid.
The new branding, which has been created by Chatham -based design agency Circus, gives nods to Medway’s rich history and heritage, with patterns drawn from local landmarks, the river and maritime history.
The process of bidding will identify themes that will "underpin an innovative year-long series of events" taking place right across Medway .
The plans reflect history and personality and the unique character of Medway's cultural sector which spans digital, film, food, music, fashion, craft, dance, and much more.
Being recognised as UK City of Culture would bring the title to the south east for the first time in the competition’s history and have a profound impact on the whole of the area.
Previous winners have seen major cultural and economic boosts including increases in tourism and investment.
Hull, which hosted in 2017, saw a projected £22 million gross value added to the local economy as a result of hosting.
Imogen Robertson, Medway 2025 bid director, said: “It has been a challenging year and the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how strong Medway is when we come together and how central creativity is to our wellbeing as individuals and communities.
"Our bid is a huge opportunity for Medway to write the next chapter in our story and show the rest of the country what we have to be proud of.
"Being City of Culture is a chance to bring once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to life for people across Medway and bolster our Covid-19 recovery.
"Now is the moment to Back Medway and support our bid.”
Eddy Eguaoje, founder of Medway Fashion Week, is also backing the effort, saying: “As a young creative in Medway, I set up Medway Fashion Week to shine a light on the amazing sense of innovation present throughout our towns, villages and peninsula.
"Therefore, it is fantastic to see that our communities are coming together to put Medway forward as UK City of Culture 2025.
"The area has such a strong arts and culture scene, from fashion and beyond, so there is so much we have to shout about and be proud of as part of this bid.”
Organisers will be submitting the bid in around a year's time with the next UK City of Culture expected to be announced towards the end of 2021.
For full details about the bid, visit the official website .