The first question which must be asked is why did he council make such an early bid for the City of Culture title when even the consultants hired to help with the bid stated in 2011, whilst describing Chester to another council, - "Chester has a popular racecourse and claims that its cultural festivals generate £16 million a year of additional expenditure by visitors. Its festivals are managed by an
arms-length company with support from the City, Arts Council and businesses. The performing arts and museums offer is, however, quite weak." (My emphasis)
So why not wait until the Theatre was up and running and the museums had been improved and make a bid with much more chance of success when the next the opportunity arose?
The answer may come in a Chester First article about the failed bid.
- "former Chester MP Christine Russell, who has been leading the campaign for a new theatre and cinema, said the bid had been an “own goal” and branded the council “deluded”." (My emphasis)
The deluded tag was validated some days later when council leader Mike Jones suggested it was a “huge compliment” that Chester failed to make the UK City of Culture 2017 shortlist.
What we have is a council spending taxpayer's money on a bid which had little chance of success, especially when up against other cities with established theatres and better museums. Then trying to spin the deluded attempt by suggesting the outcome was a huge compliment.