Coventry has submitted its bid to become the UK City of Culture 2021, with the winner due to be announced by the end of the year. Friargate is one of the biggest backers of the bid.
Coventry is up against Perth, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Hereford, Warrington, Portsmouth, Wells, Swansea and the smallest city in Britain, St Davids in the battle to be the winning city. The winner will replace current City Of Culture Hull, which, since bagging the title in 2013, has seen £1bn of investment and has won a place in the Rough Guide’s Top 10 cities places to visit.
To be successful, the 2021 winner has to prove its bid is centred around heritage, and that it will build on existing investment it gets from the lottery fund. The Heritage Lottery Fund will give £3m to the winning city.
Until the successful shortlist is announced, the Coventry bid team is continuing with its series of cultural events which offer a taster of what the city can deliver if we are handed the title.
These include an appearance from daring outdoor circus Cirque Bijou at the annual Godiva Festival, as well as some hidden moments of joy – including a bouncy bench- on the streets of Coventry from Ludic Rooms, the bid’s Digital Artists in Residence.
If Coventry wins, it will launch an exciting events programme consisting of over 1,000 events showcasing the city’s diversity, ambition and creativity.
Comedy nights, musical events and plays can be seen all year round at the Belgrade Theatre, Albany Theatre and Warwick Arts Centre. For a different flavour of entertainment, the Ricoh Arena showcases international music stars, as well as regular Wasps rugby fixtures and Coventry City football matches. A trip to Fargo Creative Village with its creative markets, selection of street food and independent shopping provides an alternative daytime experience.