WEST Midlands mayor Andy Street says Coventry’s bid to become UK City of Culture is for the entire region.
His comments came as he and other representatives from the region went to London to demonstrate the strength of regional support for Coventry’s bid.
More than 100 individuals from art, culture, community, business and politics met at the Thames Pavilion in Parliament, including MPs from across the West Midlands.
Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham sponsored the event and the audience also heard from Laura McMillan, Coventry City of Culture Trust manager, and David Burbidge, Coventry City of Culture Trust chairman.
Mr Street told the 100-strong audience: “This is a bid for the whole region. We need it and we deserve it as the team has put together an inspiring programme for 2021.
“It is an opportunity to attract investment and to reappraise the way Coventry views itself and its story.
“A unique point to sell for Coventry is its wonderful diversity – its culture links people of all communities and it is a vision of a modern Britain in a post-Brexit world.
“And the support it has from right across the board is great to see. It has support from business, support from politicians from both sides and support from the population.
“When I am in Coventry, I never hear anybody saying that we shouldn’t be doing this – everybody is right behind it. Now we need to go and win it because, as a region, this is our time.”
Coventry’s bid film was also previewed at the event before its general release next week.
Ms McMillan said: “Two years ago, I took a chance on Coventry when I left my role to work on the UK City of Culture bid and I have never looked back. Like so many others, I wasn’t born in Coventry but it has become my home.
“I can really see what winning UK City of Culture would do for Coventry in addressing inequality, in driving the economy, in championing creativity and in the legacy it would leave.
“It is great to see so many people here getting behind us and showing the regional unity behind the bid. It’s a chance to do something so special for Coventry and we really believe we can win it.”
Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are principal partners of the bid.
To show your support for Coventry’s bid on social media, go to @Coventry2021 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, log onto www.coventry2021.co.uk