After Bartholomew Fair, the Destination City are planning developments for the following year. This post first appeared on the Connections blog.
On November 7 the Destination City team will hold their first public meeting with residents to explain how the City Corporation’s programme “aims to transform the Square Mile’s leisure offer, creating a leading destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy”.
The flyer for the meeting adds: “We invite you to hear from the Programme Director and her team about the aims and progress of Destination City and how you can contribute/get involved”.
Councillor Brendan Barns, who is the Resident Representative on the City Envoy Network “will be building a residents panel to input into the Destination City programme.”
The meeting is at St Giles Church from 6.30 – 8.30pm, organised as a Cripplegate Ward meeting. However, all local residents are welcome.
City Councillor Matthew Bell lives in Cloth Fair – the original site of Bartholomew Fair – and spent several years trying to interest people in re-staging the event.
Here he tells the story of how the Destination City programme, aimed at attracting visitors to the Square Mile, provided the context this year for the Corporation to invest £1.3 million in a City-wide Spectacular.
Matthew writes: When Bartholomew Fair re-opens in the City next week, after a gap of 168 years, there will be two opening ceremonies. One will be a spectacular aerial ballet performed high up on St Paul’s Cathedral, while the other will be a traditional ceremony with the Lord Mayor cutting a ribbon.
This new era of Bartholomew Fair is going to be the biggest ever to have been staged by the City of London, so we are witnessing history over the next few weeks. The Corporation is wanting to get people in to see the rich cultural gems of every age that you trip up over with virtually every step when wandering around the Square Mile. The City was after all, London for the bulk of its history.
City Councillor John Griffiths wrote this article for the OnLondon site – original here. Thanks for permission to republish.
The City Corporation is continuing its bid to broaden perceptions of the area and attract more visitors
Bringing a modern twist to a festival which dates back to the 12th Century, the City of London’s revival of Bartholomew Fair is the latest pitch in its Destination City campaign to capture a share of the growing number of visitors now returning, post-pandemic, to the capital.
Originally a three-day gathering for trading cloth and other goods which coincided with the 24 August feast of St Bartholomew, the event grew to become London’s preeminent leisure fair, lasting for a couple of weeks and attracting visitors and acts from across the country.
Matt Brown offers The Ten Ages of London in One Short Walk starting with Prehistoric London on the banks of the Thames, and walking through Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian, 20th century and modern sites.
The City Corporation has now offered the first public vision of its £2.5 million Destination City programme, which aims to attract visitors whose spending will boost a Square Mile economy hit by working from home.
A presentation on the programme shows the City competing for visitors globally with festivals and events in Sydney, New York and Manhattan, and in London with Covent Garden, Kings Cross, Battersea, Canary Wharf and Borough Market.
The City Corporation’s programme to attract more visitors is pitched in competition with other London destinations, including Canary Wharf and Covent Garden, as I reported earlier.
One destination that might have been mentioned is South Kensington, which has a wide range of cultural attractions. The City prides itself on that too, saying: “It is recognised as home to some of London’s most important cultural landmarks”.
The agenda for next week’s Policy and Resources committee offers plans for a contemporary version of the Fair that includes a bespoke aerial performance on the exterior of St Paul’s Cathedral, and “a magical and engaging narrative projection trail through the City of London on building facades at six points across The City.”