Hull will be the next UK City of Culture - in 2017 - Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced today.
Hull faced stiff competition from the other three shortlisted cities, Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay, but was declared the winner on the advice of the independent expert advisory panel chaired by Phil Redmond.
The UK City of Culture first started in 2010 with Derry-Londonderry chosen as UK City of Culture for 2013, and is a hotly contested accolade that sees the winning city benefit from real economic benefits such as an increase in investment and a rise in visitor numbers.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller said:
This is brilliant news for Hull and everyone involved in the bid there. This year’s UK City of Culture, Derry-Londonderry, demonstrates the huge benefits that the title brings. These include encouraging economic growth, inspiring social change and bringing communities together. It can produce a wonderful mix of inward investment, and civic pride and I hope Hull’s plans will make the most of all that being UK City of Culture can bring.
But I also want to extend my thanks and admiration to the three other bid teams from Dundee, Leicester, and Swansea Bay. I know just how much time, effort and determination they each put into their bids. I hope they will still take forward many of the fantastic ideas and events they had planned so that their communities can enjoy these innovative cultural plans.
Phil Redmond, Chair of the independent expert advisory panel said:
There was real understanding and appetite from all four short-listed cities, for the sort of transformational change that a year of culture can bring. But ultimately it was the unanimous verdict of the panel that Hull put forward the most compelling case based on its theme as ‘a city coming out of the shadows.’ This is at the heart of their project and reminds both its people and the wider world of both its cultural past and future potential.
We were particularly impressed with Hull’s evidence of community and creative engagement, their links to the private sector and their focus on legacy, including a commitment to enhance funding beyond 2017 and I’d like to congratulate all involved.
Derry-Londonderry is currently UK City of Culture 2013 and has already seen the economic and social benefits. For every £1 invested, UK City of Culture is expected to generate £5 and the city expects at a conservative estimate, an extra 600,000 visitors to the city over the course of 2013 – more than doubling previous years’ visitor numbers.
Mayor of Derry, Cllr Martin Reilly said:
The people of Derry-Londonderry would like to extend congratulations to Hull on their success as the UK City of Culture in 2017. For us, 2013 has been a phenomenal year for our city. As the inaugural UK City of Culture we can look forward to a future that builds upon our cultural skills and talent and continues to offer a positive experience for local communities and visitors. I am confident that an amazing year awaits Hull as the winning city for 2017, I wish them every success and look forward to forming a working relationship with Hull to share our experiences and learning.
Hull now has three years to develop and prepare its programme for 2017.