Durham’s culture bid gets a boost
DURHAM’S ambitious bid to become Britain’s Culture Capital received a double boost yesterday.
Three visitor magnets in the city announced a credit crunch-busting start to 2009, while culture minister Andy Burnham said plans were now well underway to stage a British City of Culture competition – although the first city to have the honour bestowed upon it would have to wait until 2013, and not 2011 as at first thought. Crook Hall and Gardens, the Prince Bishops River Cruises and Durham Indoor Markets, all based in Durham, said the Easter weekend has helped them begin this tourism year with a bang.
Maggie Bell, owner of Crook Hall and Gardens on the banks of the River Wear overlooking the City’s Norman Cathedral, said she was fully behind Durham’s City of Culture bid. She said: “The Easter period has proved to be wonderful for the newly refurbished Crook Hall and Gardens.
“The decent weather and all of our joint working to get visitors through the doors has really helped us. We’ve actually had double the numbers of customers coming through our gates compared to Easter 2008.
“More people are seeing what Durham has to offer and that can only be advantageous for the Capital of Culture bid.”
Durham’s long-established indoor market –situated just off the historic marketplace in the very heart of the City – similarly report increased numbers of customers during the first quarter of 2009.