Town of Culture Award

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:40 pm on 23rd January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Housing) 5:40 pm, 23rd January 2019

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr McCabe, and I congratulate my right hon. Friend David Hanson on securing this debate. Yesterday was Great Grimsby day. If Members did not know about that, they know about it now. They can put the date in their diary for next year and can expect something spectacular, because my town will be doing something amazing, thanks to a Labour council and Charlotte Bowen of the Culture House; I especially wanted to mention her tireless, assiduous efforts to bring a range of cultural activities to north-east Lincolnshire, and her assistance in securing the £3.2 million of Government funding for culture and arts that was recently announced. Members need to come and get involved in that.

Grimsby is a proud, tough, hard-working town full of committed and enthusiastic people who are keen to improve the area and make it a more desirable place to stay, work and play. On top of the exciting events and installations that we hope to see once this money comes through, we have had our town deal agreed. We have had agreements from the landowner and the port operator, Associated British Ports, that the famous Kasbah area of the Grimsby docks can start to be developed and opened up. It has received money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and has been given a boost by a company called Creative Start Art, which is taking up a tenancy to kick-start regeneration in the heritage action zone.

Culture comes in many different forms. Grimsby has not only a wonderful concert venue, the Grimsby central hall, which more people should go to, but the annual Bradley youth festival, which showcases local acting, musical and spoken word talent. We have an amazing arts section at the local college, which excels in designing for movies, doing makeup and theatre sets. We have the Caxton theatre, the auditorium in which Kevin from Grimsby will star in “Burn the Floor”; the fishing heritage centre; the Time Trap museum; and a range of knitters, sportspeople and dancers. The people of Grimsby know that they are much more than “Skint” and Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Grimsby” film. How wonderful it would be if we had the chance to put all those positive things together and won what will clearly be a much-coveted award.