Arts, Heritage & Tourism Minister visits Plymouth
The Minister’s visit recognises the importance of the 2020 Mayflower commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims’ historic journey across the Atlantic, and the celebration of Plymouth as Britain’s Ocean City.
With Britain’s Ocean City planning big things for the commemoration year the Tourism Minister conducted a tour of key areas in the city that will play a role in the 2020 celebrations, including the Mayflower Steps, Barbican, The Hoe and the Royal William Yard. John Glen met with leaders from different sectors in the city to discuss the preparations.
Plymouth is leading a partnership of eleven locations across England and Leiden in Holland, all commemorating the historic voyage through major international events and the development of Mayflower-inspired projects. Engagement of the US travel market is already underway, with initial signs of positive response to the commemorations and the trail of UK and Dutch locations.
Plymouth projects already unveiled include a ‘Mayflower Muster’ week in September 2020; three historic trails in Plymouth, which will form part of a national network of trails, taking visitors on a journey back to the 17th Century; renovations to the historic Elizabethan House, an ‘Illuminate’ community and art festival of light; and the opening of ‘The Box’ – the £37 million attraction, gallery and museum complex which will become the city’s cultural centre.
John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said, “Mayflower 400 is a wonderful project that will not only celebrate centuries of shared history between the UK and US but also help promote Plymouth to the world. The commemorations will help increase the profile of the city and encourage even more international tourists, particularly Americans, to explore Plymouth and the South West. It is an important part of our history and I look forward to seeing how this story will be told in the coming years.”
Charles Hackett, the Chief Executive of Mayflower 2020 commented, “We are very pleased that the Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister has chosen to visit Plymouth and engage with the Mayflower 400 national programme early in his time in post. We are busy working behind the scenes to make sure that across the country and in Plymouth we are able to take full advantage of the opportunities Mayflower 400 will bring.”
Tourism supports over 7,000 jobs in Plymouth and brings over £316 million into the local economy annually. It is estimated that across the national Mayflower partnership there will be an increase in tourism visitors of over 1.4 million visitors during the commemoration year.
Find out more at www.mayflower400uk.org