Will Coventry be UK City of Culture in 2021? We’re now on the shortlist!

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Is it possible for the Coventry to claim the title in front of Swansea, Sunderland, Paisley and Stoke?

Coventry’s attempt to win UK City of Culture 2021 award seems little bit more real now, as the city has been included in a list of five cities, together with Swansea, Sunderland, Paisley and Stoke.

Apart from a valuable title, other benefits include a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £3million, national recognition and publicity, new jobs, a boost in tourism and up to £1billion of investment.

The group of people behind the Coventry bid believe that the city will be able to offer more than other cities on the list, Swansea, Sunderland, Paisley and Stoke. The bid will be sent in September, and the winner will be decided in December.

Hull holds the UK City of Culture title at the moment.

The statistics show that the title has brought Hull about 250 new jobs, £3m Heritage Lottery Grant as well as about £1bn of investment.

What is the government’s opinion?

John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said: “We have gathered amazing bids from different regions of the UK and at the moment have a great shortlist of five cities that show the diversity and cultural value of our cities and towns. I want to give credit to all eleven cities that sent their bids, which provided great examples of how to cherish their unique heritage and culture, and showed just how prestigious and coveted the UK City of Culture is. The competition was tough and showed us how important our cultural assets are to our cities, increasing tourism and jobs in local communities. I have personally seen the way the Hull has embraced its title as City of Culture 2017, and the positive impact the title had to the area. I can’t wait to see what will happen in 2021.”

A little bit more regarding the judges…

Director of the UK City of Culture panel, Phil Redmond, said:”The commitment, quality and enthusiasm that came together with the bids of the eleven cities made creating a shortlist to recommend to ministers as tough as it was for the past two UK City of Culture competitions. The desire for taking advantage of the culture to positively impact communities is stronger than ever. In the end, the panel believes that these five cities’ bids have the potential to deliver a UK City of Culture 2021 programme. I want to bestow my appreciation to all eleven bidders for their hard work and am looking forward to final bids from Coventry, Swansea, Sunderland, Paisley and Stoke later this year.”

The cities which tried but have not managed to get on to the shortlist are Portsmouth, Perth, St David’s, Wells and the Hundred of Dewisland, Hereford and Warrington.

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