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08/14/2013 / katiemcgivney

Harris Flights: Interview with Lorraine Norris and Bernard Hayes Part 2

Part two of a recent interview with CEO of Preston City Council Lorraine Norris, and Corporate Director of Community and Business Services, Bernard Hayes.

In particular, I found their thoughts on urban regeneration through cultural intervention, alongside the possibility of raising the national profile of Preston very interesting.

When asked about any regenerative effects the project might produce, Norris replied, “We really believe that arts and culture and entertainment has got to be part of the future of the city centre. City centres have taken a blow in the last few years partly beacuse of the recession and austerity but also because of there are just changes going on in the way that people see city centres, none of us need to come into city centres anymore to shop for everything that we need. We’re all keen on pressing the button and buying things off the internet.”

Hayes also expressed his thoughts on the creative community commenting, “I think the creative community in Preston is a real force and a force that can do wonderful things in the city, but at the moment what I think is happening is there operating in their individual areas and communities and we really want to bring that force together, and really believe if we can bring that force together we can have areally vibrant and creative cultural and arts centre in Preston”.

On the topic of a national profile, Norris inferred “Preston needs to find it niche (…) what really matters is Preston taking further steps achieve some of those (regernative) goals, I’m confident that Harris Flights will help us do that (…) Its not the national profile thats the prize here, its the engagement and enjoyment and participation of vibrant creative industries in the city”.

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