The annual conference of Culture Action Europe is on its way to Tyneside – and that’s interesting on lots of levels.
First of all, it’s great news for Newcastle and Gateshead. Movers and shakers from all over Europe will be flying in and taking what for many will be their first look at what we have got to offer. They will be impressed – and that’s going to spread the word about Tyneside far and wide.
Secondly, it’s a chance to ring the bell again on the subject of arts funding and how in this country it is weighted unfairly – even grotesquely – in favour of London.
Finally, it’s a little nudge in the direction of 2017, the year by which we may be voting in an in-out referendum on Europe.
If we are out of Europe, this kind of useful gathering won’t be touching down on Tyneside.
So what, you might say. But if the time comes it will be worth considering everything that a vote to leave the EU will cost us.