Nottingham bids to become European Capital of Culture 2023

Nottingham bids to become European Capital of Culture 2023

Nottingham is looking to bid for its place as European Capital of Culture 2023, it has revealed.

The announcement took place at a launch event held on Wednesday (16th August) for a luminarium created by internationally renowned local artists Architects of Air.

Competing against Belfast, Dundee, Leeds, and Milton Keynes, its bid team is asking the people of Nottingham to get behind it by becoming "Cultural Lions" through taking part in projects and nurturing "the next generation of creative producers and cultural leaders".

Spearheading the city's bid is Nottingham’s Strategic Cultural Partnership, with support provided by Nottingham City Council, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Marketing NG and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literratre. 

Paul Russ, chairman of Nottingham's Cultural Strategy Partnership and chair of the Nottingham 2023 board, said as part of the bid it was proposing a "cultural change" programme to attract investment and forge stronger ties with Europe and the rest of the world. 

“The lions outside the Council House have been a local meeting, gathering and rallying point for decades, we are a proud and inclusive city and urge people of all backgrounds to ‘join our pride’ and help us get to the next stage of the bid by becoming ‘Cultural Lions’," said Russ.

“Nottingham is an ambitious, young and diverse city with a culture of grassroots collaboration and a history of rebellious innovation. As part of the bid, we want to give everyone in Nottingham the opportunity to take part in a project, production or experience and nurture the next generation of creative producers and cultural leaders.

“We’re proposing a ‘cultural change’ programme that will transform the lives of people in the Midlands; harnessing the power of creativity, stimulating innovation, attracting investment and creating new international networks that will redefine our relationship to Europe and the world.” 

Sandeep Mahal, director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, said there was "no doubt" Nottingham had what it took to win the bid that would cement its status as a "truly European" city. 

“Our bid will be massively helped by being a UNESCO City of Literature. We are proudly strengthening Nottingham’s ties with Europe and in turn enhancing Nottingham’s status as a truly European city," Mahal said. "I have no doubt at all that the city can produce the type of extraordinary, imaginative and inclusive programme that can win this competition.”