Council call for public government inquiry into Coventry City of Culture Trust’s collapse - The Coventry Observer

Council call for public government inquiry into Coventry City of Culture Trust’s collapse

Coventry Editorial 23rd Mar, 2023 Updated: 23rd Mar, 2023   0

A CALL has been made by Coventry council for the government to commission a public inquiry into the collapse of the City of Culture Trust.

A motion was proposed at Tuesday’s full council meeting by Coun Tim Sawdon.

Coun David Welsh and council leader Coun George Duggins have already written to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer, requesting an inquiry.

Coun Sawdon said he recognised the benefits Coventry had gained from the City of Culture, but they were not the same as the legacy phase which the trust failed to deliver.

“The collapse of the trust raises serious questions not only as to the financial planning of this phase but also about the overall management of the year of culture itself.

“It is equally important for us to understand the implications for this council.




“With the £1million loan which I assume has been spent and will never be repaid, we have put around £7million into the City of Culture Trust.”

Coun Roger Bailey, who seconded the motion, said the City of Culture as an idea worked very well, such as the events and investment in the city.


He added looking into the trust’s collapse needed to be treated as a separate issue and felt the situation did not need to be a negative story as others could learn from the facts.

Coun Welsh said: “At the last scrutiny meeting, much of the trust didn’t attend and would not give any answers – the only way we’re going to crack that is if government lead that investigation.

“I don’t want the richness of the stories of Coventry, our city of culture, to be reduced to this loss.”

He added he would be meeting with cultural leaders over the coming weeks to look into how the programme the Trust left behind could be picked up.

Coventry Conservative leader Coun Gary Ridley said the trust’s collapse affected the city in ways they could not understand yet in terms of the reputational damage it had potentially done.

He added there were still questions the city council needed to answer.

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