Coventry wins UK City of Culture crown

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Hull threw a massive street party at the start of its 2017 celebrations.

Coventry will be the UK’s next City of Culture, it has been revealed.

The historic Midlands city will host 365 days of arts, music and entertainment throughout 2021.

The decision, announced on the BBC’s One Show by Arts Minister John Glen, dashes the hopes of sole Scottish contender Paisley.

Perth had also been in the running, but didn’t make it onto the shortlist.

Other competing cities were Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea.

The winner stands to make around £60 million for its local economy and welcome more than one million visitors. Coventry has also automatically secured £3 million of Heritage Lottery funding.

The announcement was made by Mr Glen in Hull, 2017’s City of Culture.

Perth submitted an ambitious bid earlier this year, showing how arts and creativity could be used to unite people in the city with those in the surrounding rural area.

The Perth2021 campaign was launched in August last year with a huge street party, featuring dancing trees and historic characters.

Following the announcement, Perth and Kinross Council leader Ian Campbell said: “We are sorry to hear that Paisley has not been named the first Scottish UK City of Culture and offer our congratulations to Coventry.

“I’d like to say a very big well done to the Paisley bid team who have all worked extremely hard to pull together their excellent bid.”

He added: “What we have found from taking part in the process is that it has been a very worthwhile step to help push forward the ambitions of the region to improve our cultural ambitions and put Perth on the map as a place where culture is for everyone.”

Paisley’s campaign was backed by local celebrities Paolo Nutini, Gerard Butler and artist John Byrne.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said those involved in the bid should feel “immensely proud”, despite the result.

She said: “Paisley’s bid journey has been inspiring, beginning two years ago with hundreds of people gathered at the picturesque Paisley Abbey for the official launch.

“Since then businesses, cultural and community groups have thrown their support behind the town’s ambitions. A real strength has been the extensive community engagement with more than 30,000 people involved. All helping put together an outstanding bid for Paisley and for Scotland.”

She said: “Despite just missing out they can all be immensely proud of their efforts, they have done Paisley and Scotland proud and there is much to build upon.”

Mr Glen said: “In 2017 I have seen the truly transformative effect this prestigious title has had on Hull.

“The city has embraced City of Culture and in doing so has demonstrated how culture, the arts and heritage can bring communities together. I look forward to seeing what Coventry has in store in 2021.”

He also congratulated the unsuccessful towns and cities for their “excellent” bids.

 

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