Posted by: The Prince of Whales | February 7, 2011

Bilbao, Margate & Moseley


Forget the Selfridge Blancmange - this is the real daddy

Bilbao, a provincial city on Spain’s North Atlantic coast is famous for what? That’s right, almost every one will say the Guggenheim Museum.  Opened in 1997, housed in one of the most extraordinary buildings of our time, the museum showcases a wide selection of modern European and American art.

This definitely put Bilbao on the map, not just in Spain but on an international basis.

Now a little closer to home sees me thinking about Margate. A grand old resort that was once the height of fashion.  The visitors have moved on and Margate has been out of favour for the past 30 years or more. The town has struggled to reinvent itself and several hopeful attempts at “re-branding” have failed.  As a marketing guy myself, its clear Margate needs a bit more than the make-over new websites, brochures and PR can provide. It needs real reasons to visit, compelling enough to attract today’s selective consumers.

So this April, Margate will open the Margate Turner Gallery.

If Margate can, why not Moseley?

The new gallery, designed by award winning architects David Chipperfield Associates, is the showpiece in a major drive to position Margate as the hub of a South Coast Cultural revival. Its ambitious and no doubt a real challenge to pull off.  If successful it will really put Margate on the map.

So why can’t we think this big in Moseley?

Yes of course The Moseley Exchange is a good thing and The Farmers’ Market is excellent. No doubt the move to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) will lead to great brochures and Moseley’s 15th website promoting our “pleasant, cosmopolitan residential area”.

Let’s up our game. If we truly want a vibrant day-time economy, we need to think bigger, aim higher. Let’s think like Bilbao, lets out Margate Margate. Lets put Moseley on the map.

Lets put together a taskforce, drawn from the gifted, talented folks of Moseley and lets get out there and bring home a big civic project.  Ideally a project that fits with our creative, cultural, media savvy strengths and one that can benefit from our obvious skills as a centre of excellence for the leisure/hsopitality industry.

Come on Councillors, Moseley Society, Moseley Business Association and others, its time to take up the challenge.

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