12th Dec, 2017

LIVE FROM THE BELGRADE: Coventry awaits UK City of Culture 2021 announcement

Shaun Reynolds 7th Dec, 2017 Updated: 7th Dec, 2017

GOOD evening and welcome to our live coverage from the Belgrade Theatre of tonight’s UK City of Culture 2021 announcement.

Coventry is one of five cities in the running to win the UK City of Culture 2021. Paisley, Swansea, Sunderland and Stoke-on-Trent are the other four.

If successful, Coventry could benefit from up to £1bn of investment and hundreds of jobs will be created.

Click refresh to ensure you are up to date with the latest news. The announcement will be made just after 7.20pm. 

7.30pm

A tearful Juliet Colley, City of Culture bid assistant, told us: “This means the world”.

7.27pm

After a long wait…. Coventry is the UK City of Culture 2021!

7.20pm

Trish Willetts, manager of BID Coventry, gave us some final thoughts on what the bid will do for Coventry: “It’s going to be at the centre of the West Midlands right where it needs to be – the West Midlands engine.”

Announcement imminent.

7pm

Susie Murphy from Positive Youth Foundation told us: “The kids understood how much culture and art can do to enable change”

“They understood that it’s such a positive thing to be part of.

“For young people what it means is when they have a dream and an aspiration and get to a certain point with a talent or a skill, they don’t have to look out of the city for their next steps, they can stay in a place where they feel they belong.”

6.55pm

TENSION is building at the Belgrade Theatre. Plenty of people in attendance and guests and continuing to arrive.

Youngsters from the Positive Youth Foundation are in fine voice ahead of the announcement.

6.45pm

COVENTRY City Council chief executive Martin Reeves believes a successful bid tonight would be a ‘game changer’ for the future of Coventry.

He told The Observer: “There’s no doubt that sayings like game changer and once in a generation are chucked around. But this is one of those moments.

“A successful bid will give us the confidence and belief that we have needed for a long time – from the young right through to the old.

“This puts us in the spotlight, where we deserve to be.”

 

6.30pm

BID adviser Andrew Dixon hopes to ‘welcome the world’ to a modern and diverse Coventry amid tonight’s revealing of the UK City of Culture 2021.

Andrew Dixon said: “Coventry needs to move from ‘ghost town to host town – the inspiration behind that phrase comes from The Specials, who wrote Ghost Town in 1981.

“We need to talk to the youth of today, teach them about the culture of our special city.

“Now it needs to become a host down – welcome the world so they can see a modern, diverse city.”

Andrew Dixon talking to our reporter Felix Nobes.

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