So on 30th April, next week, Portsmouth will submit a bid to be the UK City of Culture 2017. This is a joint bid with Southampton. The writers of the bid, poet Sam Cox and writer Sarah Cheverton, have been busy asking various people about what they think culture is and how we can make 2017 a fantastic 'year of the culture' in Portsmouth.
I think in the last couple of years Portsmouth has been gaining momentum in asserting itself to be a big player in the UK when it comes to tourism. Portsmouth, and with this I do mean Southsea and its wider surrounding area, has been slowly putting itself on the map of culture.
For a number of years Portsmouth has hosted the hugely successful Portsmouth Festivities and Music in the Round, an international chamber music series. Portsmouth people have also been busy celebrating our literary heritage. From Dickens to Conan-Doyle, Kippling and countless others.
We have a lively literary community in Portsmouth and last World Book Night saw a group of writers sharing their work and it was featured on BBC South. I was impressed! Look at Matt Wingett in his Sherlock's frock reading at the Square Tower.
January this year saw the launch of a new literary series, Portsmouth Thought, which celebrates non-fiction writing. With the University of Portsmouth in the heart of the city, such a series complements their public lecture series beautifully. In fact, the series is a partnership of the Portsmouth City Council, University of Portsmouth and Blackwell.
Here we are listening to Leo Hollis who has written a book 'Cities are Good For You: The Genius of the Metropolis' at the Spinnaker Tower. The perfect setting for the topic and our own marvel of an architecture and piece of engineering.
At the end of May we will see the opening of the new Mary Rose Museum. The museum we have been waiting for and a celebration of heritage as well as the endeavour to use science and technology to bring history to future generations.
So Portsmouth has many things to celebrate and will certainly be putting itself on the map. Fingers crossed for winning the bid!