AS WE LOOK to 2021 and the City of Culture year, the Mayor of the West Midlands has outlined the main benefits for Coventry.
Andy Street leads the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which has invested £35million in the event.
He said it offered a unique opportunity for Coventry to showcase itself to the world.
“It really is absolutely vital that we make not only a wonderful first impression but create a lasting legacy for those living in Coventry.
“As we face the challenges of Covid, the opportunities presented by City of Culture are a core part of region’s recovery plan.”
He said the celebrations, which begin on May 15, would benefit the economy with 2.55million extra visitor days – amounting to £350million between 2018 and 2022.
Investment to the city centre to have it looking its best for its culture year will benefit its people for years to come.
“The railway station is being completely upgraded from the 1960s building to create the modern gateway this growing City needs, costing more than £90million, and money has been put into the Telegraph Hotel and improvements to the street scene.”
Mr Street said the event would also create significant job and training opportunities for local people – in culture, hospitality, tourism, production, stewarding and security.
And finally, he added, the whole profile of Coventry and the wider West Midlands would be raised, putting the coverage and publicity in print, online and through broadcasters at more than £50million.
“Just like the Commonwealth Games in 2022, the City of Culture will put us in the spotlight.”