Mayor is right to seize this opportunity
Sir Peter Soulsby is losing no time in developing plans to make the most of the possible discovery of Richard III's remains. He has already begun the process of identifying a location for a museum and visitor centre and is considering a series of properties near the site.
He is right to move quickly on this issue. This archaeological discovery has created a great deal of interest and the city needs to keep that momentum going if it is going to turn this into a boost for tourism. Nottingham has always traded on its association with Robin Hood but Leicester has not had a similar historical link to give it a strong selling point.
While the connection with King Richard III has always existed of course, the archaeological discovery has helped to create a new level of interest, not only in this country but around the world.
There is always the possibility that the laboratory tests which are currently taking place will not be able to conclusively say whether the skeleton which was found is that of the last Plantagenet king of England.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
However, even if that does happen, the level of interest which this find has generated has already created an opportunity which Leicester should seize. And the strong circumstantial evidence that the remains are those of Richard will continue to be a source of debate and fascination whatever the outcome of the tests.
A museum and visitor centre would allow the city to display not only the history of the period but also showcase the archaeological work which went into the discovery.
If, as we hope, the remains are ultimately interred at Leicester Cathedral, it would form part of a series of focal points for visitors, along with the Bosworth battlefield site.
That would add up to a tourism package with real substance and would certainly attract visitors to the city.
And this could in turn become an important source of income for Leicester, boosting restaurants, bars, shops and hotels.
Of course, creating a museum comes at a cost and we have to be aware, as Sir Peter says, that these are difficult financial times.
However, it is right to invest in things which will help the city's long-term prosperity and this would be, in our opinion, money well spent.