BOURNEMOUTH is set to revive the tradition of an annual arts festival in a bid to boost its cultural credentials.

A newly-formed arts and culture board is aiming to launch an inaugural festival in 2010, to tie in with the town’s bicentennial celebrations.

And it’s hoped the event will take off and become one of the highlights of the year, rivalling similar festivals in Brighton and Salisbury.

Cllr Ian Lancashire, the council’s arts, design and heritage champion, said: “I think it would be fantastic if we had a nationally recognised festival, similar to Brighton.

“It puts the town on the map. With the air festival and our festival, Bournemouth is going to become quite an interesting place to live.”

The arts and culture board is also seeking to make it easier to find out what’s going on in the town.

Cllr Lancashire said: “There’s lots going on in Bournemouth but that is not the perception. People do not know what is going on and don’t know where to look to find out.

“We want a one-point access to information, whether it’s a concert by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra or a show by the scouts.

“A good arts provision starts from education upwards and I would like to see artists visiting schools and children visiting the Pavilion to see how it works. I would also like to see some public art around the town and I think we should link up with the university and the arts institute.

“We also want to encourage regeneration with creative industries creating an arts area, possibly somewhere like the Triangle.”