A KEY group of cross-party MPs have been in Coventry to find out how the UK City of Culture year is going nearly six months in and discover the long term benefits it is having on the city.
Five members of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee visited Coventry to assess how arts and culture programmes are delivering long-term social and economic benefits.
The Committee Chair, Julian Knight – the MP for neighbouring Solihull – led the group which also included Kevin Brennan MP, Alex Davies-Jones MP, Clive Efford MP, and Jane Stevenson MP.
They were met by Coventry City of Culture Trust Chief Executive Martin Sutherland and Coventry City Council’s David Nuttall and introduced to a range of organisations and individuals at the heart of the programme.
During the day they were given a tour of The Turner Prize Exhibition and the Coventry Biennial at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, found out more about the Broken Angel project at Coventry Cathedral and got a sneak peek at the Lost Lending Library at Drapers’ Hall.
Julian Knight said: “Our visit to Coventry allowed us to experience life at the heart of a City of Culture and to find out what it means to be part of it.
“We were particularly interested in how the organisers have worked with local communities and to find out where there are opportunities to benefit from the cultural legacy in the years to come.”
Martin Sutherland said: “We are close to being six months into our year and it was great to reflect on that with the members of the DCMS Select Committee.
“However, we know that there is still much work to do for the remaining six months of the year to ensure that being UK City of Culture brings all of the benefits we want to achieve.”
Coun George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Our year as UK City of Culture really has changed our city, with new venues and attractions, a new-look city centre and so much more.
“We are using arts and culture to change people’s lives and we are working across the city with all our many communities to get everyone involved.”