Coventry South MP, Jim Cunningham, has written to Culture Minister, John Glen MP, asking him to bring the City of Culture title to the Midlands and to name Coventry as UK City of Culture 2021.
In a joint letter, signed by Jim, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and a host of other local and regional MPs, Jim Cunningham MP says “The Midlands has never hosted the UK City of Culture or the European City of Culture and we believe that now the time is right.”
The letter goes on to say that the MPs and new Mayor believe that Coventry’s bid is a unique opportunity because it:
- Delivers an ambitious £40 million programme of cultural activity, from the RSC at Coventry Cathedral to digital art commissions projected on the city’s iconic architecture and the first UK Streets of Culture project
- Brings together the diverse communities of the West Midlands, the youngest and most diverse city of all the candidates, with hundreds of planned community activities.
- Will generate a huge cultural legacy, encouraging a new generation of cultural audiences and participants and showcasing the revival of a city that was once the capital of England.
- Draws support from Coventry and wider West Midlands region: the private and public sectors working together, led by the cultural sector, with funding secured from over 110 local businesses and philanthropists.
Culture Minister, John Glen MP, is set to decide which city will be the UK’s next City of Culture on Thursday this week (7th December). Coventry is through to the final round of the competition with Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea.
Commenting on the letter and his support for Coventry’s bid, Jim Cunningham MP said:
“The time is right for the Midlands to host the next UK City of Culture.
“A win for Coventry would be a win for the whole of the region, and would bring millions to the local economy and help to put the Midlands well and truly on the map.”
“Hull has had a great year this year as city of culture, Londonderry was the last city to host City of Culture, and both Glasgow and Liverpool have reaped the rewards from their Capital of Culture titles. But, the Midlands has never won before. Now is our time!
“I’m proud to be backing Coventry as the UK’s next City of Culture. Our city is great, now its time to make it official by crowing us City of Culture.”