Mayflower 400 - A presentation to Council

Amanda Lumley Executive lead Mayflower 400 UK

At last nights Town Council meeting there was a presentation by Amanda Lumley UK executive lead for the Mayflower 400 project. She outlined the overall plans for the project (despite the visual aids failing to function). She talked about the 10 UK European destinations involved in the project, inclcuding Harwich, Southark, Southampton and Dartmouth, and about the hope that each of these destinations will be able to benefit from the publicity around the project by establishing local events and promotions around the 2020 celebrations.

Mayflower 400 Partner destinations

It was clear to me that Dartmouth must drive its own response without help from the central organisation apart from funding support for project where we can provide a minimum of 10% seed funding ourselves.

Plymouth Council have allocated £2.27 million to the project over the next few years and has already built it into their local plan, Visit Britain will be allocating £500,000 and, with full government backing, other funding will become available as the project develops.

Jonathan Hawkins asked Amanda how much help Dartmouth can expect from the Plymouth organisation. It is clear from her reply that Dartmouth must take full responsibility for all of our activities including fund raising and event planning. It is up to us to take advantage of the opportunity that this celebration presents. Their objectives a clearly focused on Plymouth as shown by the following extract from their website:

Plans for 2020

In 2020 the US, Holland and UK will commemorate and celebrate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.

We will create and host a truly transatlantic cultural celebration fit for a global audience. Mayflower 400 will be full of creative excellence, of history, of political, social and academic discourse, of commercial and economic development and opportunities.

We are planning for a period of transformation over the next 5 years. It will bring huge commercial and cultural opportunities to the city. Mayflower 400 will act as a lodestone for a programme of investment that will deliver tangible goals:

  • To transform local, national and international perceptions of the city creating a global brand
  • Improved infrastructure and physical modernisation stimulating economic opportunities and regeneration
  • All current and future residents of Plymouth will know the story of the Mayflower and understand its global significance
  • To increase the quality and engagement of Plymouth�s cultural offer to residents and visitors alike

Working within these overarching goals groups and organisations across the city have been, and will continue to be, invited to contribute their own particular projects to the Mayflower vision.

They have recently recruited a Chief Executive for the project (at a salary of £90,000pa) so they will be putting a major effort into this project.

Dartmouth’s Mayflower 400 project is now being lead by Peter Conisbee, previously Chairman of the Dartmouth BID and Trustee of the Dartmouth Trust. We believe it is vital that Dartmouth gets this project moving, and is seen to get it moving as soon as possible.

I think we need to prepare our own local Mayflower 400 website to outline what we are planning and to encourage sponsors to come forward. We need both a facebook and Twitter presence as social media will play a big part in the success of this event (as it did for Donald Trump!). Today we only have a single page on the Plymouth site with an introduction by Roger Chilcott, the dedicated Councillor who started this project but sadly passed away. We also need to keep the business community and residents informed about what we are planning and how and when we expect events to occur.

DB News is concerned that at this stage we don’t appear to have made much progress in defining our project, publicising our plans or in raising the over £300,000 funding we need to implement our plans. Or at least the community is not being told how much progress has been made. We need to get our act together asap and get all of the organisations who will contribute to this event together. I hope for instance the Dartmouth Chamber of Trade will be actively involved.

I remain concerned about the prospects for this event.

Paul Reach

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