Vlog

Cllr Mieka Smiles is the Executive Member for Culture and Communities her monthly Vlog will be available here, watch as she talks all things Middlesbrough.

It’s an exciting time in Middlesbrough.

From Mayor Andy Preston’s latest announcement on Middlesbrough’s Digital City through to major redevelopments in areas including Gresham, there is so much planned for our great town.

And in May I was tasked with helping to drive forward culture and communities as a member of the executive team.

This is something I’m passionate about.

The cultural sector continues to grow faster than the UK economy and I believe investing in it can help transform the lives of those living in our town, creating jobs, wealth and prosperity. In fact it already is – and this can be seen from the regenerative power of something like Orange Pip, which we have plans to expand and develop next year.

I wanted a way to keep people updated on all things culture and communities – and this will be a monthly vlog to do just that. I will be sharing upcoming events, ideas and the inside track on what I’m doing to help develop and promote the sector in Middlesbrough.

Hello and welcome to this month’s culture vlog. So I wanted to quickly talk about three things this month.

The first is the Civic Community Awards, so that’s the reason we’re in our beautiful Town Hall this morning. This is where they’re going to be celebrated in April. And what we need is your nominations. So any unsung Middlesbrough heroes, or businesses, that you think deserve a bit of extra praise or a bit of an extra boost. It can be anybody from somebody who picks litter in your community to somebody that coaches a children’s football team. Anybody that you think deserves a bit of an extra bit of praise. So you can log on to our website and submit your nominations there. So we look forward to reading those.

The second thing I wanted to mention is our fantastic libraries. We’ve got beautiful libraries across the town including Central Library. And I’m wanting to engage more people, get more people visiting our libraries. And one idea is, in York they have something called a York Pass, and basically it’s a library card that doubles up as a card to access different cultural venues, and also give discounts for restaurants, and gigs, and events. And I’d like to know what your thoughts are on it; is there anything else that we could include?

And then the final thing I wanted to mention is our old town hall. So I was asked a question about this at the full council meeting, and it’s what are we doing to protect the old town hall? It’s a Grade 2 listed building, it features in a really famous Lowry painting, and at the moment it’s just sat derelict. And I just think it’s really important that we protect the heritage of the old town hall. So as a result of being asked that at full council I’ve had a few fantastic ideas and I would like more. What would you like to see happen to our old town hall?

So that’s it for this month, thank you very much for watching, and see you soon.

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