Hull has beaten Swansea Bay, Dundee and Leicester to be named UK City of Culture 2017.
Kingston upon Hull lies at the point that the River Hull meets the Humber Estuary in the East Riding of Yorkshire and as such has a rich seafaring history. It is famous for being the birth place of slavery abolitionist, William Wilberforce, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and rock band, The Housemartins. However, the programme for its year as UK City of Culture will be inspired by the work of one of the city’s most famous and popular sons, the poet Philip Larkin.
A statement from Hull City Council said: “Inspired by Larkin’s poem Days, the ambition is for each day of Hull 2017 to make a difference to a life in the city, the UK and the world.”
The bid for the title included a £15m events programme and a pledge to include a cultural event every single day of the year. Being named City of Culture means Hull can expect an economic boost to the tune of around £60m in 2017, as anticipated by the council, with further financial benefits in the following years.
Hull will follow Derry~Londonderry as the UK City of Culture. Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, who made the announcement in Westminster said: “This is brilliant news for Hull and everyone involved in the bid there. 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.”
Hull is already a premier destination for theatre goers: it is home to Hull Truck Theatre, which has been a respected performance establishment since the 1970s and moved into a new £14.5m home in 2009. The Ferens Art Gallery in the city is another cultural beacon, holding a Da Vinci exhibition last year that broke visitor records.
Plans for 2017 include an opening ceremony involving theatrical elephants, dancing white phone boxes and ‘rivers’ of light, people and sound flowing into the city.
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