In the second of our City of Culture 2017 blogs, Councillor Steven Bayes gets behind Hull’s bid and explains how the accolade would enrich the cities transformation in to a cultural capital.
In Hull, the process of bidding for UK City of Culture 2017 has generated a new sense of confidence and pride in what the city has to offer.
Our bid has been developed from the bottom-up with the public, the city’s diverse communities and culture-makers getting involved in a debate about the character and identity of the city, which have shaped its key themes and ideas.
This has created a groundswell of belief that the tide is turning for Hull. Since being shortlisted, there’s a new-found confidence and pride in the city, along with a collective determination to grasp this once-in-a-generation opportunity.
Stepping up to the plate
The message from local people, businesses and cultural stakeholders is that Hull wants it, Hull needs it and that Hull is ready to deliver. It’s a message that the city’s leadership has whole-heartedly endorsed.
Cultural regeneration is the cornerstone of our new ten-year City Plan to make Hull a leading UK visitor destination and centre for creative industries. Becoming UK City of Culture is a key milestone on that journey. Along with a £190 million cultural capital programme, it will provide the platform and act as a catalyst for transforming perceptions of Hull, consigning the phrase ‘From Hull, Hell and Halifax, good Lord deliver us’ to the history books.
Our bid is not celebrity-led but does have the support of many high profile organisations and individuals who have connections with the city, recognise its contribution to culture in the UK and understand what the title would mean to Hull. These include leading politicians such as Lord Mandelson and Baroness Bottomley along with local, regional, national and international partners including Hull Truck, Freedom Festival, Opera North, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Rotterdam Festivals.
Our bid aims to tackle the serious economic and social issues facing the city. Alongside other new developments within our City Plan, it will create jobs, enrich people’s lives and leave a lasting legacy of an improved and sustainable cultural infrastructure.
Our 2017 programme will be rooted in Hull, but global in outlook. It will be a celebration of Hull’s unique culture but will also have meaning and significance across the UK and the world.