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District Dispatch - 9 January 2024

A priority for us as a council is to deliver a range of events each year — not only for the enjoyment of our local residents, but to also encourage people to visit, and spend, within the district.

Councillor Jess Brown-Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events

Our district has so much to offer and has so many fantastic businesses. We know that once people have visited, they will come back time and time again. We also know, from talking to you, that you want to see more entertainment — and so we have been working hard to deliver on this.

Last year was particularly successful, following the introduction of a number of new events. The laser show was held at the Canal Basin in Chichester over two nights, bringing in hundreds of people into the city. You'll be glad to know that this is returning in 2024 on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 February. These spectacular light shows will be held between 6pm and 7.30pm both nights. The best part is that they are totally free, thanks to funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We will be working closely with the Canal Trust and Chichester Rotary to deliver this for you. The Trust will also be keeping their shop and café open so that visitors can buy gifts, hot drinks and light refreshments. We'll also be closing Canal Wharf so that there is more space for people to watch the incredible displays and to accommodate a selection of food and drink concessions. We've also purposely timed this to coincide with the school holidays, as a highlight at the end of the week.

We also held two City Sounds events in March and November, to celebrate and promote local music talent, and to support the night-time economy. One of the bands featured in November's event has now signed to EMI Record Label and another is a consideration for the Czech Republic entry for the Eurovision song contest! Our local businesses have also seen the benefit of these events and we are working closely with them to organise more. We expect the next one to take place in 2024, so watch this space!

Our September Saturdays in Midhurst were also well received, with hundreds flocking to enjoy a series of free family events, including outdoor cinema and entertainment, a Get Active Day, and live music across the town. We're already looking to see if something similar could be provided again this year.

Our Chichester Farmers' Markets are continuing every first and third Friday of every month between 9am and 2pm — and as you may be aware, we're arranging a Feel-Good Farmers' Market on 19 January. In addition to the normal traders, who will be offering fresh local produce and artisan goods, there will be a range of partners who will be available to help you improve your health and fitness. Those joining us will include Everyone Active; Nuffield Health; Fitjoy; our Social Prescribers and our Health and Wellbeing Team. Please do pop down and say hello!

We've also given the go-ahead for Chichester's first ever Vegan Street Market in East Street on Sunday 28 January between 10.30am and 4pm. It will bring together vegan street food vendors, artisan bakers, craft brewers, ethical jewellery, cosmetics, clothing and much more! Find out more on the Vegan Market Co. website (opens new window).

We will also be holding Cross, Market & More events and the Summer Street Party, as well as further new events, which we are currently working on — some of which we hope will pop up in new locations! To keep in touch with the very latest on the many events and activities taking place, please follow our social media pages; look out for your initiatives magazine which we deliver to your door three times a year; our Chichester District What's On page; and please do consider signing up to our Chichester District Council email newsletter.

Best Wishes

Cllr Jess Brown-Fuller

Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council