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Coventry City of Culture 2021

Coventry wins City of Culture 2021

Coventry is gearing up for one of the biggest years in its history after being named UK City of Culture 2021.

The city beat off strong competition from Paisley, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea to win the prestigious national title and was named the winner live on BBC TV on Thursday night.

Work will start straight away to deliver the plans for an incredible 12 months that were set out in the city’s bid to the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport.

Coventry’s programme will include a Street of Culture programme co-producing work in local communities. The first build-up event will be the UK’s first Shop Front Theatre Festival in March 2018 and the city will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its Cathedral with a major new lighting commission.

A 2.2 mile Ring Road poem is set to one of the digital centrepiece of 2021 along with major productions by the RSC and the screening of the entire works of Shakespeare in iconic locations.

An artist-led festival called ‘Moments of Silence’ will create moments of silence and beauty and reflect on the city’s 700-year-old Carthusian monastery Charterhouse and play on the myth of being ‘Sent to Coventry’.

Building on the success of 95-year-Old Indian Photographer Masterji’s exhibition, the city will develop a project Tale of Two streets that looks at two of the most diverse streets in Britain through the eyes of photographers.


Bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 has already seen Coventry achieve:

• Over £5 million new revenue secured in the past three years,
• Over £30 million capital investment for Warwick Arts Centre, Albany Theatre and Heritage projects
• Two new Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs)
• Coventry City Council investment of over £1m in building capacity in the cultural sector
• Work done to build a more sustainable, independent cultural sector, with successful fundraising for organisations such as Imagineer Productions, Shop Front Theatre and Photo Archive Miners
• A body of research and new research model for cities
• A 10-year cultural strategy recognised as a national model of good practice
• A visitor profile study leading to plans for a new destination and tourism strategy
• Coventry securing £2 million for Cultural destinations and Great Places – the largest award in the UK
• A series of iconic projects – from Mogwai at Coventry Cathedral, the Masterji exhibition and book, to the Electric Proms by Positive Youth Foundation and Armonico Consort
• More than £12 million worth media coverage
• New levels of collaboration between Coventry University and the University of Warwick , with plans for a further joint £6 million Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) bid
• Coventry positioned to contribute to a successful Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 bid
RSC partnership engaging with the city with plans for major new commission Father Forgive and a city wide education programme
• Over 100 businesses on board backing culture
• Plans for a new hotel and cinemas at the former Coventry Telegraph building
• City secured Heritage Action Zone status

To find out more and to sign up for the newsletter, please visit the Coventry 2021 website.