Plymouth businesses are being urged to help Make a Difference for Mayflower 400 as the city gears up for the momentous commemorations in 2020.
A rallying call is being issued to business of all shapes and sizes to get stuck in and make a difference to their own business, to the look and feel of the city and help make Mayflower 400 a huge success.
Plymouth City Council is working in partnership with the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and Plymouth City Centre Company and has pledged £1.5 million to get the ball rolling and ensure the city’s public spaces are in tip top condition for the year of events to mark the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers from Plymouth to the New World.
Council leader Tudor Evans addressed the city’s business community at an event today asking them get involved in the exciting public/ private sector partnership that could transform some of the city’s open spaces – as well as their own premises – in time for Mayflower 400.
He said: “We’ve a big job to do to make sure the city’s public spaces are ready to welcome high profile guests and visitors from all over the world.
“It’s an extremely tough climate with budgets growing ever tighter, but we appreciate how important this celebration is to Plymouth and to its businesses, which is why we are setting aside this sum to make sure Plymouth will be at its very best when it is in the international spotlight.
“But we also hope businesses will also see the opportunities Mayflower 400 presents and help themselves as well as the city to make sure the most of this very important occasion. By working together, we all stand to gain enormously.”
The Make a Difference for Mayflower 400 was initiated by the Duke of Cornwall Hotel which is hosting the event this week at its premises. The company has already pitched in to invest in Plymouth’s West Hoe area. Hotel director Jon Morcom said: “We think it’s really important businesses give something back to their community.
“We saw an opportunity at the West Hoe children’s play area and painted some of the play equipment. We’re also investing in the exterior of the hotel over the next few years in an effort to do our bit for Plymouth.”
Sarah Gibson, Plymouth Waterfront Manager said: “The Council already invests heavily in the public areas around the city and through the business improvements has ring-fenced its budgets for investment within the Waterfront and City Centre areas.
“However, we’ve identified a list of projects that could be delivered to really improve our core visitor areas and ensure Plymouth looks its absolute best.
“It’s vital the entire city comes together to prepare for this major commemoration, aimed to catapult Plymouth onto the global stage, both as a visitor destination and as a place to invest, creating real legacy for our historic, enterprising and vibrant Waterfront city.”
Jon Walton, City Centre Manager said “While we’ve still some time before the major events planned to commemorate Mayflower 400, planning ahead with budgets is essential which is why we are launching this in 2016.
“We’re really keen to seek support for initiatives within the City Centre area and we’ll provide high profile media opportunities for any business making a pledge. This is a real chance for community cohesion, bringing businesses, residents and the local authority together in a celebration of Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City.”