Coventry’s City of Culture bid gets £4m boost with major regional backing
Coventry’s final push to become the UK City of Culture 2021 has been given a £4 million boost and its widest regional backing yet.
More than two years of work will culminate, this week, in the city delivering a final presentation to the judges before discovering if Coventry has won the coveted prize on Thursday, December 7.
Now, The West Midlands Combined Authority has pledged to allocate £4 million over four years to support the bid if it is successful as Coventry goes head to head with Paisley, Sunderland, Swansea and Stoke-on-Trent to be crowned UK City of Culture.
The funding decision has been backed by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, every council leader across the WMCA region as well as chairs from each of the Local Enterprise Partnerships in the region, the TUC, the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.
A letter sent to the Coventry City of Culture Trust signed by all parties said:
“We want to take this opportunity to formally put on record our individual, organisational and collective support to the Coventry City of Culture Trust.
“The detailed work you have led through the Trust to create such a compelling case has inspired not just Coventry, but the entire region.
“A bid which will deliver such significant economic impact but at the same time a legacy of community-led cultural assets has been a long time coming for Coventry.
“We do not underestimate the efforts you and the team have made over several years to get to this point. Good luck with the final stage – we are right behind you and the city.”
The title is awarded every four years and the winner for 2021 will become the third UK City of Culture, following on from Hull and Derry/Londonderry.
Speaking ahead of the announcement, David Burbidge CBE, chairman of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said:
“We are honoured to have been given unanimous backing by councils across the region for our bid and hopefully we will bring the title of UK City of Culture 2021 and everything that comes with it to Coventry.
“We have had incredible support throughout this journey from Coventry City Council, the people of Coventry, from the business community and the two great universities.
“It is amazing that we have the whole region on our side and we really do feel that this is Coventry’s time.”
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, and CEF (City Electrical Factors) are also Bid Development Sponsors.
To show your support on social media, go to @Coventry2021 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, log onto www.coventry2021.co.uk