I was extremely disappointed to read a letter in the Visitor, which criticised the panel who recently heard funding pitches from event organisers for 2016.
I went before the panel and made three pitches for funding and found them very informed, fair and also very helpful. These independent panel members are all experienced business people which meant the pitch was a two-way thing with panel members offering suggestions and advice.
These people freely gave up their time to read all the applications and then spend a full day hearing the pitches and deliberating on the awarding of funding. So, for someone to then cast a doubt on their motives is unfair and unnecessary.
Anyone who visited the Arndale Centre the other weekend cannot have failed to see some of the members of The League of Splendid promoting their event ‘A Splendid Day Out’ which is being held over October 10 and 11. Although mainly based around The Platform, there are also events on at The Royal and The Hot House. I personally love The League’s events; if you haven’t been to one, I really recommend you do.
‘The League’ are Steam Punks who dress as futuristic Victorians (I’m sure I’ll get into bother for not getting this description quite right) and their philosophy is to treat everyone splendidly.
The Steam Punk movement is one which is growing across the country and the League’s own two annual events attract a great many visitors and their money into the town. I believe we need to encourage events such as these and also the Nice and Sleazy Punk Festival, which attract more diverse visitors.
I’m sure a lot of people will remember the huge Punk Festival which used to be based here and all the ‘Scooter Lads’ who also used to make an annual trek.
These events used to fill hotels and B and Bs and many locals loved strolling down the prom looking at the outfits and scooters.
We need to encourage these sort of events back to Morecambe and to do that we need to make visitors feel welcome and organisers feel appreciated.
The tourist economy in Morecambe is worth around £100m, which is an astounding figure and demonstrates to those who say Morecambe is over as a tourist destination, that they are wrong.
Recently I was in the Arndale Centre taking part in a public consultation for Morecambe Town Council and was surprised at how many people I spoke to were actually here on holiday (and they were all very complimentary about Morecambe).
These days we might not get visitors in the same numbers as in the past, however, with a little imagination and effort and by giving people something different and interesting to see, more will come and perhaps more importantly, they will want to return.