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.
Coventry’s programme will include a Streets 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.
David Burbidge, chair of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry is a vibrant, multicultural city with a fascinating and inspiring story to tell and an arts and cultural scene that deserves its place in the national spotlight.
“There is still a lot of hard work ahead, but as UK City of Culture 2021 we will be able to show everyone why we are so proud of our city and the people who live, work and study here and build something lasting for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.
“Hull has proved to be a worthy holder of the title this year but now it is our turn and I am confident we will do even better in 2021.”
Five things you might not know about Coventry:
- Coventry has been the capital of England, not once, but twice
- Britain’s car industry was founded by Daimler in a disused Coventry cotton mill in 1896
- The decision to rebuild its cathedral, devastated by the Luftwaffe in World War 2, was made the day after the bombing. A stunning modern cathedral, designed by Basil Spence, was built, with the foundation stone being laid by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956.
- It’s said that the famous Mini sewer chase in the original film version The Italian Job took place in the newly built sewers at Stoke Aldermoor, Coventry.
- The city was the birthplace of jet pioneer Sir Frank Whittle, poet Philip Larkin and the pop impresario Pete Waterman