Coventry has been given stirring Parliamentary support for its bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.
Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham sponsored a Westminster Hall debate to discuss Coventry as a City of Culture.
As well as giving his own personal backing to the bid, there were also contributions from across the House including from regional MPs Craig Tracey, Mark Pawsey, Caroline Spelman, Colleen Fletcher and Geoffrey Robinson. The debate was also attended by John Glen MP, Minister Arts, Heritage and Tourism.
Mr Cunningham said: “Coventry is a welcoming city with rich traditions and fantastic people. It is a city with a long tradition of culture and innovation.
“Coventry’s heritage is proudly remembered and continues to inform the character of the city today.
“It has shaped Coventry into a city that should be celebrated. Coventry is not just an industrial city, it is a city of academic excellence. There are two world-class universities in the form of Coventry University and the University of Warwick. These two universities attract students from all over the country, as well as across the rest of the world.
“It is a city that is fiercely proud of its achievements, and rightly so. People who come to Coventry are constantly surprised by the city and all it has to offer. It is a vibrant, bustling city surrounded by a beautiful protected greenbelt.
“The people of Coventry are proud and passionate about their city. It is a city that deserves recognition. I can think of no better way to celebrate Coventry than by making it the next UK City of Culture.”
MPs from the Warwickshire area highlighted the benefits UK City of Culture success would bring to the whole region while Geoffrey Robinson, MP for Coventry North West, said the time was right for the Midlands area to land the title.
Colleen Fletcher, MP for Coventry North East, said winning UK City of Culture would make a lasting, positive impact on Coventry.
She said: “I believe that we deserve to win. Winning this title would give the city a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make sense of its cultural resources and use them to tell its story to the rest of the nation and to the rest of the world using the energy, excitement and hope that this provides to create a lasting social and economic legacy for those current and future generations.”
Mr Glen added: “It’s abundantly clear that in common with the other shortlisted areas, that Coventry has the ambition, the heritage and the cultural infrastructure to be the next UK City of Culture. I wish the city of Coventry the best of luck in their bid.”
Coventry, which is up against Stoke, Sunderland, Paisley and Swansea, will submit a final bid at the end of this month before finding out if it has won in December.
Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support. The Ricoh Arena is Bid Sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Adient, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, PET-Xi, SCC, Pertemps, CEF (City Electrical Factors) and Listers are also Bid Development Sponsors.
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