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Urban regeneration leaving culture behind?

December 13, 2016

Many of Britain’s cities are undergoing regeneration and massive investment.  But sometimes feels like culture and tourism rarely figure in these grand plans.  The redevelopment of Paradise Circus in Birmingham does not extend to any major improvements to the adjacent Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

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Tudor House in Southampton

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Meanwhile the gleaming future is arriving across the road

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down on the south coast, the extension of West Quay shopping centre in Southampton is nearing completion.  However a stroll from the Central station past the building site that is West Quay and onto the historic quarter, reveals the disparity in investment between retail and cultural sectors.  Despite millions being spent on the expanded shopping centre the nearby ancient streets of Southampton, packed with heritage, look abandoned and, dare I say it, a but unloved.  Tudor House museum is a great place to explore with its garden, cafe and historic rooms is tucked away from the busy shopping heart of Southampton, unfortunately this corner of the city appears to struggle to attract locals or tourists.  Which is shame as the potential visitor footfall could be much larger especially as Southampton is the cruise ship capital of Britain.

Cultural agencies have noticed when it comes to investment in the UK, it appears that commercial and manufacturing are a priority while tourist and cultural venues are a lower priority.  For some reason the heritage sector is associated with low skill and low pay work, while retail and industry is considered more worthwhile and productive.  Time to challenge these stereotypes?

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Bugle Street in the heart of the historic quarter, but where are the people?

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