Hull’s new City of Culture kings have some words of wisdom for Perth 2021 team: Just be yourselves.
The group from Yorkshire believe they successfully secured the prestigious 2017 honour by presenting a case built on the city’s unique strengths and heritage.
The packed line-up includes a three-month celebration of the city, aimed at challenging negative perceptions.
Martin Green, director of Hull 2017, said Perth had to similarly celebrate its own background and achievements if it wanted to succeed.
“Just be yourself,” he said. “That’s what we’ve done. Find out what your city has to say and find your voice.
“There’s no competition here, there’s no one-upmanship. The integrity of being yourself is what’s important.”
He said that he was “blown away” by the high level of financial support during the challenging fundraising drive.
The team had originally set out to raise £18 million, but in the end made £32 million.
“Hull has always had a unique cultural voice and in 2017 it will roar,” he said.
“Hull 2017 draws on the city’s distinctiveness and the ambition and dynamism of the north, whilst offering an opportunity to reflect on the nation as a while.
“Next year will show the power that art has to bring people together, to surprise and delight, to educate and provoke debate – to transform lives.”
An army of 4,000 volunteers, dressed in distinctive blue uniforms, has signed up to help the year of culture run smoothly.
Matt Hancock, minister of state for digital and culture, added: “I have no doubt it will attract visitors from all over the UK, and demand people see Hull in a new light.
“There is enormous community engagement, plenty of volunteering and a big role for education in Hull’s plans, helping make sure that everyone can get involved.”
As part of Hull’s legacy programme, more than 60,000 children and young people will get the chance to be involved in the programme. This includes working with artists in schools and as part of community residencies.
Perth formally launched its bid for City of Culture status last month. The Fair City will be up against Paisley and Coventry, amongst others, for the 2021 title.