Coventry has been chosen to be the UK’s City of Culture for 2021.
The title is awarded every four years and it means the city will host a year-long celebration of arts and performance.
It will hope to emulate the success of Hull, which is UK City of Culture this year. The title is estimated to have boosted Hull’s economy by £60m.
The other places in the running for the title were Swansea, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland.
Famous sons and daughters
It’s the birthplace of Philip Larkin, one of England’s finest poets, electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire and best-selling author Lee Child. It’s also the home of the Two Tone ska movement through bands like The Specials and The Selecter.
Cultural claims to fame
Venues will include Warwick Arts Centre, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and the Belgrade Theatre, which launched the Theatre In Education movement in 1965. It’s also the home of the UK’s first Shop Front Theatre and boasts the UK’s largest free family music festival with the Coventry Godiva Festival.
Arts minister John Glen said it was “an incredible opportunity for Coventry to boost investment in the local economy, grow tourism and put arts and culture centre stage”.
He 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.
Coventry will be the third UK City of Culture – after Hull and Londonderry, which held the title in 2013.
As part of the prize, it will have access to a £3m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
The UK City of Culture scheme is separate from the European Capital of Culture. The UK was due to have a turn choosing a city to hold that title in 2023, with Leeds, Dundee, Milton Keynes, Belfast/Derry and Nottingham all bidding.
But the European Commission recently confirmed that the UK will lose the right to have a host city after it leaves the EU in 2019.