Coventry named 2021 UK City of Culture

Coventry named 2021 UK City of Culture

Coventry, the birthplace of poet Philip Larkin and author Lee Child, has been chosen as the UK's City of Culture for 2021.

Coventry beat Swansea, Paisley, Sunderland and Stoke-on-Trent to be declared the winner, after the bid team said their plans were "about changing the reputation of a city" as well as hosting a year of cultural celebration.

Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said the economic impact would "be huge for the city and the West Midlands".

"This is a win for Coventry, a win for young people and a win for diversity," she said. "It's been a bid by and for the people of Coventry. It has brought so many people and organisations together and this is just the start.”

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.

Hull is UK City of Culture this year, a status which has boosted the local economy by an estimated £60m. The city has also seen more than £1bn of investment since being chosen to hold the 2017 title four years ago.

As part of the prize, Coventry 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 Brexit means the UK will no longer be able to compete for the European Capital of Culture accolade.