Editor's Blog

Culture vultures

Coventry has been named as the UK City of Culture 2021 – and I’m delighted for the city.

It’s a well-deserved accolade for a city that is – unfairly, in my opinion – much maligned.

I’ve visited the city on numerous occasions in the last few years and I’m always struck by how much there is to discover. Coventry has two wonderful cathedrals, thrilling modernist architecture, beautiful old medieval buildings and, in the Ricoh Arena, one of the best event spaces in the country.

It’s not perfect, sure, but half the point of the City of Culture status is to give the holder the chance of an economic as well as a cultural boost.

Hopefully the title will have the same transformative effect that Hull has seen, as it’s estimated that Hull’s economy has received a £60 million injection this year as a result of the status. Indeed, since it was awarded the title in 2013 Hull has received more than £3bn of investment and, impressively, nine out of 10 residents have attended or taken part in a City of Culture event.

In terms of legacy, well, just look at Liverpool, which next year is to mark the 10th anniversary of its hosting of the European City of Culture in 2008 with a year-long celebration of the city’s creative scene. ACC Liverpool was at the heart of the events in 2008, hosting the opening ceremony, so perhaps the Ricoh Arena will play a similar role in Coventry in 2021.

Whatever happens, there will be plenty of opportunities for our industry in Coventry in 2021, so put aside any daft preconceptions of the place you might have - and get ready to get sent to Coventry.

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