Preparations are underway by Hampshire County Council to welcome to Winchester, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales on Thursday 3 March, following an announcement of the rescheduled Royal visit to the city, to see the statue of ‘Licoricia of Winchester’, a medieval Jewish businesswoman – and to officially open The Arc, Winchester’s new cultural centre.
Spectators wishing to view the Royal visit are advised to gather on Jewry Street outside The Arc, for mid-morning.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “We are extremely honoured that His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales has confirmed his rescheduled visit to Winchester, as promised. It is a great privilege to host His Royal Highness during our historic Platinum Jubilee year of celebrations in Hampshire, at a time when communities across the county are preparing to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s historic milestone. We all look forward with great anticipation to His Royal Highness’ visit – not only to showcase the city’s new Licoricia statue – echoing one of the Jubilee’s key themes of tolerance across faiths and communities, but also for The Prince to officially open The Arc – Winchester’s wonderful new cultural hub, following a major refurbishment of the landmark former Discovery Centre building. I am sure that many people will wish to join in this special visit and will offer The Prince of Wales a very warm welcome to Winchester.”
‘Licoricia of Winchester’, a statue funded and organised by The Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, stands outside The Arc cultural centre on Jewry Street, where Licoricia was known to have lived. This area was the historic centre of the medieval Jewish community before the Jews were expelled from England in 1290. The sculpture was created by award-winning sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and unveiled by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq.
Maggie Carver, Chairman of the Licoricia Trust, said: “The trustees are honoured to welcome His Royal Highness to see the statue of Licoricia of Winchester which was unveiled on his behalf on 10 February. In doing so, The Prince emphasises the continued relevance of the statue in marking the historic importance of the medieval Jewish community in Winchester’s royal past, and in promoting inter-faith understanding.”
The Arc, which is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, has recently re-opened following a £715,000 makeover. Paul Sapwell, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented: “We are delighted that The Prince of Wales has returned to Winchester so soon after the postponement of his previous visit. It is particularly fitting that His Royal Highness will officially open The Arc, given that The Duchess of Cornwall opened the building in its previous incarnation as Winchester Discovery Centre in 2008. The Arc is a partnership between Hampshire Cultural Trust and Hampshire County Council and offers an inclusive, diverse programme of live performance, exhibitions, library and community services. Part of the City of Sanctuary network, it is a safe, neutral space that welcomes those in our community who may be vulnerable, and as home to the statue of Licoricia, the themes of tolerance and diversity are key to our vision for The Arc.”
Hampshire County Council is planning a range of Platinum Jubilee celebrations in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 70-year reign. Read more about the Authority’s planned Jubilee events.
There will be traffic and event stewards in place during the visit, supported by Police officers to ensure a safe and secure occasion.
Winchester is expected to be busier than normal and there will also be road closures in place along the length of Jewry Street, Tower Street and Staple Gardens. A signed diversion route will be in place.
The advice for anyone coming into the city that day is to travel in by public transport, use Park & Ride, or to walk where possible.