Image: Boar Photography

Coventry: City of Culture 2021? Open call for creative ideas

Coventry’s bid to be the UK City of Culture for 2021 will find out its success, or lack of, sometime this year – but in the meantime, an open call for creative ideas has been made to the public to bolster the campaign.

The team behind Coventry’s bid are pitching it as the public’s chance to be part of the campaign, and are asking for “exciting, creative and ambitious ideas that could form part of a Coventry UK City of Culture programme in 2021.”

On the application page, they write: “We are particularly looking for projects that will engage with the youth and diversity of our City, will reach all sections of the population and will attract both national and international visitors.

“In the first instance, we want to find 40 or 50 great ideas to help Coventry win. These ideas should be extra-ordinary. If we are successful, we anticipate a year-long programme featuring many more projects and up to 1,000 events.”

Thirteen cities have placed bids for the title, with final applications accepted in March 2016. The full list of contenders is as follows: Coventry, Aberdeen, Cardiff, Hereford, Milton Keynes, Paisley, Perth, Plymouth, Southend, Stoke, Sunderland, Warrington and Worcester.

The most recent bookies’ favourite was Perth, William Hill announced last summer. Coventry had odds of 6/1.

A shortlist of four is expected in the next few months, before the final winner will be chosen by a specialist panel. That city is then made City of Culture for a period of 12 months.

Hull is the current title holder for 2017, with a new city chosen every four years. Derry-Londonderry was the inaugural choice back in 2013. Coventry failed to make the 2017 shortlist.

The winner of the 2021 title will be announced at a ceremony in Hull, which has seen a massive $38 million raised in funding to be spent on celebrations in the city this year.

The creative themes Coventry is hoping to explore are moving, underground, reinvention and human. If you have any ideas and would like to get involved in the bid, you can submit them here, with the deadline closing on 13 January.


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