Leading councillors have agreed to invest £15,000 on purchasing a commercial power supply for Chichester’s Priory Park as part of the first ever events strategy devised for the Chichester District.
The three-phase supply will enable the majority of events to run catering facilities, small scale music amps and other activities. It will remove the need for costly generators as well as addressing local residents’ concerns regarding noise as well as reducing pollution from the generators.
The investment, from capital reserves, was agreed by Chichester District Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on 6 October. It is part of the council’s commitment to encouraging more events in the district, and also forms part of the council’s recovery plan from the coronavirus pandemic.
The events strategy runs from 2020 until 2025 and presents the district as a place that is open for business and one which actively welcomes events. The main aims are to boost the local economy, showcase the district and attract more headline events.
A consultation held last summer found that the majority of respondents felt that there were not enough events in the district. In particular, people wanted to see more music, food and drink and arts and culture events. People also wanted to see more markets.
The two most popular locations that people wanted to see events were in parks and green spaces – including Priory Park and Oaklands Park, plus the city and town centres.
The strategy is one of the actions of the Chichester Vision. Over the next five years the events strategy aims to attract at least one headline event; between five and 10 feature events; and between five and 10 town and city type events. The council will work closely with tourism body Visit Chichester to identify opportunities to develop new events.
“Across the country, events are an important part of many areas’ identities and can bring significant benefits including stimulating tourism and economic growth,” says Councillor Alan Sutton, Cabinet Member for Housing, Communications, Licensing and Events at Chichester District Council. “In developing this strategy we have consulted widely with the local community and we have received some extremely positive and constructive feedback which has really shaped the way it has evolved. The strategy which has been agreed has taken on board the concerns of residents’ groups, local councillors and other stakeholders.
“This is about demonstrating that our district welcomes and supports the right kinds of events. We also want to ensure that support is in place, as well as the right facilities and infrastructure so that more events can take place in the future.
“With the right kinds of events, we can raise the profile of our wonderful district as well as contribute to our local economy and enhance people’s cultural experience. We want events that will complement and bring value to the district.
“Currently one of the issues relating to the hire of Priory Park is the lack of suitable power supply. This means that many event organisers have to hire in and run generators which results in extra costs for them as well as raising concerns around noise and space requirements. One of the ways that we can actively encourage and support the economic and community recovery of events post-covid is to install an electrical supply. I believe that this is money well spent as it will make the park more attractive to potential event organisers.”
Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture says: “We want to support a district-wide events calendar which will enhance our tourism offer. We also want to encourage and facilitate more third party events, and work with our existing event, venue and tourism partners. In addition we also want to look at creating a programme of events which are managed by Chichester District Council which will expand on the amazing success of last year’s Summer Street Party. The aim of these events would be to help increase footfall in our city and town centres, promote local businesses and also celebrate the heritage and culture of our district.
“Obviously the pandemic has had a massive effect on events nationwide and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, but by putting this strategy in place now we can plan for the future when things get back to some sort of normality.”