IN 1951, as a way of boosting morale following the war and whilst rationing was still in force, the then government created the Festival of Britain, which was to point to the ay for the future.
Then in 2018, another great festival was announced which was to take place in 2022 with the more inclusive name of the Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This is intended to “the UK’s unique strengths in creativity and innovation” but has also been dubbed as the ‘Festival of Brexit’ which is aimed to coincide with the Centenary of the BBC as well as the 75th Anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival.
Assuming she lives until then it will also be the Queen’s Platinum (70th) Jubilee but it will also be the Centenary of the Irish Free State and the opting out of Northern Ireland meaning there are some fears that it may inspire a raising of tensions in Ulster.
Whilst preparations have been somewhat low key of late, a committee has been set up, a director appointed and a provisional budget of £120 million (€138 million) set to allow for the production of an event incorporating arts, culture, design and technology at a site to be confirmed.
Opposition parties are questioning whether this is a sensible use of the limited funds available which could be more reasonably spent on the NHS, Schools and Social Services.
With the general election just a month away those opposed to the event will no doubt make capital of it.