We are thrilled to learn that our very own Coventry is set to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2021. If other recent examples from Liverpool (2008) and Glasgow (1990) are any indication, the nomination gives Coventry a once in a lifetime opportunity to attract billions of pounds of revenue in inward investment, tourism and cultural events. Coventry pipped competitors in Swansea, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Paisley to secure the nomination in December 2017.
UK Or European City?
To clear up any confusion about the nomination, Coventry is set to be the UK City of Culture, not the European City of Culture. The two contests are different and are judged by different bodies, although they are similar in scope and ambition. UK City is open only to cities and towns in the UK and takes place every four years. Last year’s city of culture was Hull and before that Derry in 2013. The European City award is open to contenders from any country in the EU, EEA and EFTA areas, with cities from two nominated countries allowed to compete each year. Two, or sometimes three winners are chosen annually. This year’s European Culture Cities, for instance, are Leeuwarden in the Netherlands and Valletta in Malta.
What To Expect
The designation of cities like Hull and Coventry as cultural capitals has raised more than a few eyebrows, and the occasional snigger. Coventry, once the historic mediaeval jewel of the West Midlands, was completely razed during the Second World War and dubiously rebuilt in concrete. Despite this, the city has undergone a remarkable cultural revival in recent years and has a lot going for it. Apart from the starkly beautiful ruins of the cathedral – perhaps the most powerful testament to peace in the whole country – Coventry hosts two of the best universities in the country, a thriving high-tech business sector and dozens of music and sports events.
Moreover, the City of Culture status is as much a boost to the culture and economy, as it is a recognition of what is already there.
These figures from Hull’s year as City of Culture 2017 may indicate what is in store for Coventry:
- £100 million public investment in cultural infrastructure, with an additional £300 million invested by private sector funders.
- Approximately £1 billion of inward economic investment, with large companies such as Siemens creating major renewable energy and research facilities in Hull.
- Over 3500 new jobs created in the city
- New facilities for Hull University worth £90 million
Local construction businesses are excited for the building prospects associated with the cultural bid. Judging by previous cultural cities, the big year itself will be preceded by a frenetic building boom, with plenty of publicly funded infrastructure bids available. This is good news not only for the large construction companies that service these bids, but also for the thousands of subcontractors of various sizes that get their hands dirty on these projects.
At Key Services, our role is to help equip the local construction sector to succeed! We offer a wide range of construction tools and products at affordable prices, including vibration pokers and water pumps.
Please get in touch to find out more.