THE ONLY person to deliver a successful UK City of Culture bid has said that Coventry “deserve the process”.
A former chief executive of the Culture Company 2013 that delivered Derry-Londonderry’s successful City of Culture bid, Ms McCarthy spoke to a packed audience at The Box in Fargo Village.
Shona McCarthy has also advised Coventry to ‘do something extraordinary’ as the city bids for the title in 2021.
Shona described winning the City of Culture led to a ‘Wizard of Oz moment’ as Derry-Londonderry was transformed from ‘black and white’ into ‘glorious technicolour’.
Ms McCarthy is urging the people of Coventry to get behind the bid and to make the most of the bidding process.
The event attracted double the expected audience – Ms McCarthy said: “I’d only been in the city for a few hours and I was taken aback by places such as the Cathedral, the Belgrade, The Herbert and the Transport Museum.
“From what I have seen – and the fantastic turn out for this event – Coventry deserves this process.
“There is clearly the passion and clearly the desire.”
Ms McCarthy also advised those present that the people of Coventry must mobilise and galvanise their communities.
Shona concluded her speech saying: “I wish Coventry every success with the process and I hope you can do something extraordinary for the city.”
David Burbidge, chair of the Coventry 2021 steering group, said: “We were absolutely delighted to hear Shona’s and Derry-Londonderry’s story and were thrilled with the interest from the people of Coventry.
“It’s been great to hear what people love about Coventry and the step changes they want to see from this process to help overcome the challenges the city faces.”
The event at Fargo Village was followed by an evening event at the Broad Street Community Centre, in Foleshill.
David added: “This is about the whole city – not just the centre.
“It’s important that we listen to and reach the whole community – we want everyone involved.”