‘Guild left a real taste for the arts’

It’s hard to believe that only one year ago, thousands of people poured into Preston to celebrate the city’s Guild year.

And following on from vintage fairs, proms, concerts and community events, city chiefs say it is our appetite for arts and culture that has become one of the defining legacies of the celebrations.

Reaching new heights: Heliosphere flying around the Harris Museum during the first Guild Proclamation at the 2012 Preston Guild

Reaching new heights: Heliosphere flying around the Harris Museum during the first Guild Proclamation at the 2012 Preston Guild

Coun Tom Burns, cabinet member for culture, leisure and advice services, said: “The Guild was a fantastic occasion and a huge success.

“One of the legacies was a real appetite for arts and culture and we cannot just wait 20 years for the next Guild for more events.

“That is why we are nearing completion on a cultural framework for the city.

“We’ve changed our events programme and we will be offering a new winter and summer programme each year, bringing together a wide range of events at the Guild Hall, Harris Museum, parks and in the city centre.

“We have seen in other cities that arts and culture can be a real driver for economic regeneration, offering shoppers something different to any experience offered online, by creating a vibrant atmosphere on the high street through events.

“We know from the Guild that if we can deliver a high quality programme of events that people will come, and the Harris Flights has been an example of that. We are already looking ahead to our exciting winter programme.”

And the Guild 2012 was also a boost to the local economy.

According to figures from Visit Lancashire, there was a seven per cent rise in tourism spending from £249.45m in 2011 to £267.92m in 2012.