THE TEAM behind Hull’s successful time as UK City of Culture has urged Coventry to ‘do it their own way’ after visiting the victorious city.
Martin Green, the CEO of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, was part of delegation that paid a visit to the city to share insight and information on how to make the most of the title.
He met several members of the team at the Coventry City of Culture Trust (CCCT) as well as representatives from the city’s cultural, arts, civic and business world.
Phil Redmond, chair of judges for the City of Culture award, and the new culture minister, Michael Ellis, also embarked on a tour of the city.
After seeing many of the sights – including Coventry Cathedral, Belgrade Theatre, Shopfront Theatre and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum – Green delivered a presentation at Coventry Transport Museum.
Martin said: “We will talk with passion and pride about the way Hull did it, but that’s because that is the only way we know.
“My first piece of advice would be to do it your own way and put your own stamp on being UK City of Culture.
“It has been absolutely incredible for Hull and has undoubtedly changed the city for the better and now its Coventry’s turn to take on the title and run with it.
“My second piece of advice would be slow down and take your time to plan. There is going to be lots of interest in the city and people will want to know now exactly what you plan to do in 2021.
“Don’t be ashamed to ask for time to take a step back and make sure everything is in place. Taking that year to plan what we wanted to do in Hull was a big part in making 2017 such a great success.”
Laura McMillan, CCCT director of operations and legacy, said Hull had set the bar high for UK City of Culture.
She added: “We are very grateful to Martin and the team for coming to Coventry to share their insight into being UK City of Culture. There is absolutely no question that Hull’s year has been amazing.
“We have visited several times and seen the excitement around the city and the lasting legacy it is going to leave. The bar has been set at a very high level.
“But, as Martin said, Coventry cannot copy Hull. We can take some of the lessons they have learned but we will absolutely do this our way and put on a year that only Coventry can.”
Culture minister Michael Ellis tweeted: “Delighted to be in #Coventry today to meet the great team behind @Coventry2021 and hear more about their exciting plans #ourculture #ThisisCoventry.”