£3.5 million to support Coventry City of Culture

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has awarded £3.5 million to Coventry City of Culture to help the city deliver its celebrations this summer in line with coronavirus restrictions.

It is hoped that the funding will help Coventry City of Culture host events with enhanced coronavirus safety and hygiene methods, providing reassurance to audiences and ensuring the celebrations can go ahead as restrictions ease over the summer. As such, it will allow the live streaming of events so that people from all over the West Midlands and the UK can join in with the launch of UK City of Culture 2021 from the safety of their own homes.

UK City of Culture is a competition run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport every four years. The competition celebrates culture in all its forms across the UK and helps to stimulate economic growth, create jobs in the community and attract inward investment, leading to a lasting legacy of social, cultural and economic change.

It is expected that Coventry’s year as City of Culture will see an economic boost of £211 million with an additional 2.5 million visitors. It is hoped that 80 per cent of the city’s residents will engage with the programme three or more times across the year, and it will attract around 10,000 volunteers and create more than 900 jobs.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Coventry has demonstrated a remarkable resilience and ability to adapt during these challenging and unprecedented times. Now more than ever, it is vitally important that we bring our communities together through culture, arts and heritage. This additional funding will help the city as it begins its exciting year of celebrations for UK City of Culture and I look forward to seeing how the next 12 months will benefit the local area as we build back better from the impact of Covid.”

Martin Sutherland, chief executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This funding will help us to deliver our promises to Coventry and to the visitors we hope to welcome soon, starting with a Summer of Surprises. We are excited to share the extraordinary creativity from Coventry and explore new ways to use digital platforms and broadcast channels to reach new audiences both in person and at home.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging 12 months for the sector; this new funding enables us to support the organisations, artists, freelancers and communities who are so key to delivering  a safe, secure and exciting year for the city.”

Coventry is the third UK City of Culture with Derry-Londonderry the first city to take up the mantle in 2013, followed by Hull in 2017.

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