Keeping the Guild spirit alive for the next 20 years is the main aim of a new charity.
The Guild Link, a group set up in the wake of the historic celebrations, will amass a pot of cash which will be available for the 2032 celebrations and used to host events over the next two decades.
Among the ideas include hosting a special Guild annual awards to mark people who contribute to Preston, hosting major events delivered under the Guild brand and adding ‘spokes’ to take people from the city centre to the Guild Wheel cycleway built around Preston.
The charity’s board will meet for the first time later this month to begin to put together a delivery blueprint.
Co-founder Fr Timothy Lipscomb, the vicar of Preston, said part of the cash pot would be set aside for people to bid into to stage artistic and sporting events as part of the 2032 Guild.
He said: “It is an opportunity to get Preston ready for the next Guild, many of us may not be around when it actually happens but we have a duty to make sure we create a legacy.”
A collection held at the thanksgiving service in the city’s Minster at the end of the Guild raised £1,100 which is the first contribution to the charity, which will now host fund-raising events to further build up its finances.
The charity will be chaired by University of Central Lancashire pro vice-chancellor, Rod Dubrow-Marshall, who will lead a board made up of Fr Timothy, charity stalwart John Nickson and city councillor Eric Fazackerley.
Former council chief executive Jim Carr, Gerald Waterfield, who runs the Co-operative Bank’s office in Lancashire, and charity accountant Anne Metcalfe are also on the board. Coun Fazackerley said the city would need a body to carry on the momentum of the Guild after the council’s team is dismantled at the end of the year.
He said: “People like Stella (Hall, the festival director) and others contracts come to an end at the end of the month, so we need to ensure we do not let people forget about the Guild for another 20 years.”
The city’s council did not begin to start saving for this year’s celebrations until 2005 when it agreed to put a 1% ‘Guild tax’ on council tax bills to raise a cash pot of £1.5m, which went towards the £5.3m spent on the September event.
Council leader Peter Rankin said it had no plans to drop the 1% saying that was “a decision for the future.”
The leader added: “The success of future Guilds in Preston depends on the enthusiasm of the people, the businesses, the community groups, every part of Preston.”
Miss Hall, whose contract for her £80,000-a-year role expires in December, said events including the Sky Ride which got thousands of amateur cyclists on their bikes would continue. She said: “I hope to come back in 20 years time and see the growth of the large scale celebrations we have begun in 2012.
“I would like to see another Preston Passion, another food festival, the young people who came to take part in the Guild still involved and people prepared to roll their sleeves up and get involved.
“If Preston continues to listen to what people want and deliver on that, it will be a fitting legacy.”
The festival director will also work with the city council for the remaining three months of her contract to create a new cultural strategy which will help it tap into cash pots to host major events.
Council chief executive Lorraine Norris said Lancashire had historically not tapped into organisations such as the Arts Council as effectively as neighbouring Manchester or Liverpool.
She said: “The aim of the strategy is to change that and find our voice.”
The city’s Guild Hall was the main legacy project of the 1972 Guild.
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Weather for Preston
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
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Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 11 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North west