James Taylor, the Lib Dems Westminster candidate for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock has asked South Ayrshire council to spell out its vision for Arts & Culture in the area in light of their decision to demolish Ayr’s Civic Theatre. James, who co-founded the Kirkmichael International Guitar Festival, has written a letter to council officials warning them that Ayr is in danger of effectively becoming a cultural desert.
James Taylor said:
“I realize that councils across the country have difficult decisions to make especially in the current financial climate. However many councils including Dundee & Gateshead have recognized the importance of Culture in the economic renewal of a town as well as making it a better place to live and bring up families. The current politicians in Ayr seem to have little vision as to what Ayr could become and the place that Culture could play in it.”
Mr Taylor, who has managed the career of high profile artists including Deacon Blue and his own father guitarist Martin Taylor actually got his start in the music business by promoting his first concert at the Civic Theatre at the tender age of 17. Lib Dem Taylor who is standing against Labour’s Sandra Osborne feels that South Ayrshire council and their political leaders are making a fundamental strategic error by being penny-wise and pound foolish.
“If you look at any great town or city in the World you’ll find they have a tiered system of venues. This allows both local and touring artists or theatre companies the ability to build their profile in a town. Unfortunately many of the big concert promoters and theatre companies I have spoken to avoid coming to Ayr because the town lacks that basic provision. As a result people have to drive to Glasgow to see a concert, exhibition or play. Unless the elected officials start thinking with a bit of vision I worry that South Ayrshire could effectively become a cultural desert.”