12th Dec, 2017

PREVIEW: 'From ghost town to host town', Coventry anticipates UK City of Culture 2021 announcement

Felix Nobes 7th Dec, 2017 Updated: 8th Dec, 2017

COVENTRY will discover tonight whether it has become UK City of Culture 2021.

An announcement will be made live on the One Show, on BBC1, tonight at 7pm.

The city is eagerly anticipating the decision with a widespread consensus formed on the benefits the recognition will provide to Coventry and the West Midlands region if the bid proves successful.

Andrew Dixon, an adviser for Coventry’s bid, described Coventry’s possible winning transformation as going from “ghost town to host town”, in homage to city legends The Specials’ number one hit.

There has been a valiant effort from all sections of Coventry society with real engagement from young and old.

Coventry’s rich and diverse history could help them attain millions of pounds of investment to reinvigorate the city and elevate it onto the cultural forefront once again.

Twitter round-up

The Coventry 2021 official account graciously tweeted: “Today we find out who will be titled #UKCityofCulture2021!

“Good luck to @sot2021 @paisley2021 @Sunderland2021 @Swansea2021 not long to go!! @DCMS #ThisisCoventry”

Many notable figures and institutions have also taken to Twitter to announce their support – with BBC presenter Jeremy Vine reported as a high-profile supporter.

West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, said: “So, today is the day @Coventry2021 will find out if they have been successful in their bid to be #UkCityofCulture2021. Whatever the result, Team Coventry have done themselves and the West Midlands proud.

“Thank you to everybody who has played a part in the bid.”

Positive Youth Foundation, who played an instrumental role in engaging young people during the campaign, tweeted: “We’re so excited for the announcement tomorrow!

“Everything is crossed for #Coventry! We’re all behind you @Coventry2021! #CityOfCulture #YouthVoice”

Bally Gill, who is about to play Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the RSC, grew up in Coventry, and he said: “I think ‘City of Culture’ is the perfect way to describe Cov.

“I grew up in an area in Cov where there were so many different nationalities, races and cultures mixing together.”

Warwick Arts Centre, a hub of Coventry’s arts scene, tweeted:

“We find out the winner of #UKCityofCulture2021 TONIGHT on the @BBCTheOneShow!Got for it #Coventry we are with you all the way! #ThisisCoventry!”

Paula Watkins tweeted a particularly heartwarming message of support containing a poem written by her mother: “My Mum aged 72 (5th gen Coventrian) wrote this in half an hour this morning #ThisisCoventry @Coventry2021 @DCMS.”

The poem can be seen in the gallery.

To follow live coverage of tonight’s bid announcement, visit this website from 6.30pm. 

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