Coventry’s final bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 – which would bring massive social, cultural and economic benefits to the city – has been submitted.
The Coventry City of Culture Trust, the team behind Coventry’s bid to bring the coveted title to the city, have filed the 30-page document with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
It includes a wide-reaching programme that would ensure that the whole of the city gets the opportunity to experience and enjoy a wide-range of cultural events and moments throughout 2021.
The bid is also designed to attract visitors to the city, which is within two hours’ journey of 40 million people, throughout the year and that could be worth around £100m to the tourism industry in the region.
Coventry is up against Paisley, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea for the title and Laura McMillan, Manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said the time was right for Coventry to tell its story to the world.
She said: “Two years of work have gone into this bid and we couldn’t be more proud of the city or more grateful to everyone who has played a part in it.
“Coventry City Council have backed us, the media have backed us, the two fantastic universities have backed us, businesses have backed us, MPs and the West Midlands mayor have backed us and, most importantly, the people of Coventry are right behind us.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Coventry to tell its story of reinvention, of resilience, of peace and reconciliation and of youth and diversity to the whole world so we really need this for the city in 2021.”
The bid was delivered to the DCMS by Laura and representatives from Positive Youth Foundation, which is based in Hillfields.
They were joined by a city-made London Taxi, with support from London EV Company, which has been turned into a work of art called ‘The Coventry Knowledge’ as part of a two-week artist residency at Coventry Transport Museum. It was temporarily removed from the Cartists exhibition to make the special journey.
It was produced by Patrick Murphy, an artist, designer and curator, and perfectly captures Coventry’s heritage of moving people through its engineering and manufacturing prowess and the fact it is now moving people through culture.
Patrick said: “I am absolutely thrilled that The Coventry Knowledge is playing such a big part in Coventry’s final bid being submitted – it’s a city that deserves to be recognised for the way it has moved people over time, through bicycle, car, jet engine and now culture.”
Laura added: “We have all seen the huge positive impact UK City of Culture has had in Hull and we want Coventry to build on the fantastic year that they have staged.
“We have the utmost respect for the four other shortlisted cities – but really feel that this is our time, that our story needs to be told and that Coventry deserves to win this. We will continue to do everything we possibly can to make sure everyone knows how much we want this for our city and the lasting legacy it would leave.”
Following the bid being submitted, Coventry will be visited by the judges in October before presenting to them in December in Hull. The winner will be announced in December.
Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support. The Ricoh Arena is Bid Sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Adient, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, PET-Xi, SCC, Pertemps, CEF (City Electrical Factors) and Listers are also Bid Development Sponsors.
To show your support for Coventry’s bid on social media, go to @Coventry2021 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, log onto www.coventry2021.co.uk