Coventry has been named UK City of Culture 2021, as announced by Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism John Glen on 7 December 2017.
After impressive bids from five shortlisted cities, including Paisely, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, it was Coventry's focus on youth, diversity and scale of impact on the UK that led to its win.
This follows the final season of Hull 2017, this year's City of Culture. Hull's local economy has received an estimated £60 million boost in 2017, with nine of ten residents having attended or taken part in a City of Culture event. Since receiving the title in 2013, Hull has had £3 billion investment.
John Glen said:
"I would like to congratulate Coventry on winning UK City of Culture 2021. The title is an incredible opportunity for Coventry to boost investment in the local economy, grow tourism and put arts and culture centre stage.
We received excellent bids from all the cities and I would like to thank them for their efforts.
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."
Phil Redmond, Chair of the Independent Expert Advisory Panel said:
"Once again the process has highlighted the depth and strength of culture across the UK. That made it difficult choosing a winner, but I would like to congratulate Coventry and I am sure they will build on the legacy of Derry-Londonderry and Hull and bring about a transformational change in 2021.
For those that weren’t successful this time, I hope, as has happened in other places, that they will look to the future and build on the wider cultural partnerships they have created."
Coventry now has three years to prepare its year-long programme of activity for 2021. As part of its status as UK City of Culture 2021, Coventry will be eligible for a £3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Image: (left to right) John Glen, Arts Minister; Phil Redmond, Chair of the UK City of Culture 2021 Panel; Laura McMillan,Coventry 2021 Bid team - courtesy of Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)