Agenda item

Mayflower 400 Update


Councillor Mark Deacon (Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport) and Charles Hackett (Charles Hackett (Chief Executive Officer Mayflower 400) provided an update on the Mayflower 400 which highlighted the following –



the Mayflower 400 had delivered successfully across a huge range of activities, through strong partnership and with determination and adaptability to drive Plymouth and partner objectives, despite the challenges;




whilst the pandemic had significantly impacted the delivery of the programme, the majority of the original cultural programme had been successfully rescheduled and had been taking place through late 2020 where appropriate and through the summer of 2021;




projects had been rescheduled to new dates, or had been redesigned for different delivery such as through digital means; only a small number had been cancelled, such as the Four Nations Ceremony on 11 July 2021;




Mayflower 400 had continued to -





promote the city regionally, nationally and internationally;



engage residents and give different communities varied ways to take part;



deliver a cultural programme, whilst also supporting the cultural producers and performers involved during this highly challenging period for their sector;



lay foundations for the visitor sector recovery and future international travel and cruises;





some individual events from the Mayflower 400 programme, led by partners and funded through grants from bodies such as the Arts Council England would now take place after September 2021 due to the pandemic (such a ‘This Land’ by the Theatre Royal and Illuminate led by Real Ideas Organisation);




the 2021 events had built on the success of the content delivered to date which had reached a cumulative audience of over four billion people through associated communications activity, which had supported Plymouth’s positioning as a vibrant destination and Britain’s Ocean City;




national and international marketing activity supporting the wider Plymouth destination activity would continue through to the end of 2021 and beyond; Mayflower 400 had exceeded its targeted visitor sector growth by 10%, as of 2019; the programme had been aligned with the wider pandemic recovery activity to ensure it made a full contribution to the city’s recovery as it transitioned out of lockdown.


The Committee discussed the following key issues –



whether the impact of the media coverage was known (given that this would have been impacted by the pandemic) and the financial impact this had on the city;




whether the £16m committed by the Arts Council England into Plymouth’s core arts and culture capacity over five years, was part of the Mayflower 400 project and if the funding would be ongoing;




the importance of building on the success of the Mayflower 400 project and continuing to maintain the momentum with future projects/events;




the importance of not only recognising the community involvement in the events that had taken place but also the unity of cross party working in order to continue to secure funding streams;




the level of international engagement with the Mayflower 400 project and whether there was an international appetite to travel to Plymouth once the Covid restrictions had been lifted.


The Committee considered that the Mayflower 400 project had left an amazing legacy for the city (such as the Mayflower trails, the restoration of the Elizabethan House, the provision of the new bins and signage and improvements to the waterfront) which ensured that Plymouth had become a real visitor destination. The Committee wished to commend all the teams and stakeholders involved with this project.


The Committee requested that the level of international engagement was included in the wrap up report due to be considered by the Committee in February 2022.


The Committee agreed to endorse continuing Plymouth City Council’s support of the Mayflower 400 programme to its conclusion in 2021 and to endorse that some projects in the wider Mayflower 400 commemoration would finally deliver after September 2021 but that the core programme would be concluded in September 2021 with wrap up activities from that point.

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