THE FIRST formal document to kick-start Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 has been signed and submitted.
At a ‘thanksgiving’ event hosted by Lord Mayor Lindsley Harvard, the Council Leader, Coun George Duggins, and cabinet member for community development, Coun Linda Bigham, signed Coventry’s submission in front of a range of supporters and groups at St. Mary’s Guildhall.
The bid is being put together by Coventry City of Culture Trust but the submission was required to come from the city council in the first instance.
Many of those who have backed the bid were there on the night and heard from David Burbidge, chair of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, who said: “The room was packed with people, the vast majority of whom have backed Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture financially – either privately or through their business.
“We recognise that there are constraints on the public purse and that is why we have set out from the start to get the business community right behind our bid – and we are thrilled with just how much support we are getting.
“The city council have been fantastic too but it’s important that the people of Coventry know that this bid is by everyone and for everyone – including arts and cultural groups, individuals, community groups, business and the two great universities.
“Everyone is pulling together because they can see what this could do for Coventry both in 2021 and in the years beyond.”
Coventry City Council is, alongside the University of Warwick and Coventry University, a principal partner of the bid and is providing significant support, the Trust says.
But the majority of the funding has been generated through private individuals and businesses including the Ricoh Arena as Bid Sponsor and Jaguar Land Rover, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, Pertemps and CEF (City Electrical Factors) as Bid Development Sponsors.