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Coventry business leaders hope City of Culture will encourage graduates to stay

According to business leaders in Coventry, the positive economic effects of the win could help to keep talented graduates in the city.

Coventry won the bid to become City of Culture in 2021 after two and a half years on the project, with the University of Warwick acting as a principal partner in the city’s campaign.

A few weeks ago, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce members discussed the issue of retaining graduate talent at its Coventry branch meeting, which takes place once a quarter.

David Penn, chair of the Coventry branch, commented that, “How we retain the talent that we have coming through both Coventry University and the University of Warwick, which is crucial for the future of the region,” was very high on the agenda of the meeting.

Now, on the back of the amazing City of Culture win, we have a very strong reason to shout about Coventry right around the world

Professor Jonothan Neelands, Associate Dean for Creativity at Warwick Business School and Director of Research on the Executive Bid Committee, spoke to The Boar about how the bid will impact on the University:

 “Coventry’s winning bid for ‘City of Culture 2021’ will change the university’s place in the region forever. It will benefit all who live, work and study in the local area.

“For the students, there will be benefits such as more work and volunteering placements, as well as more opportunities for undergraduate research into the progress the city is making.”

Leading research behind the bid, the University has been integral in developing a ten-year cultural strategy for the city.

Professor Neelands also added that there will be a “closer relationship” between Warwick and Coventry University, through “pooling resources, and having more money to develop cultural programmes.”

[The bid] will connect the campus to the city, and the new Arts Centre in 2020 will be core to the region’s ambitions

The University will continue to be active in the city’s development, with improvements scheduled to begin as early as January 2018.

Students can also expect to see many cultural events in Coventry, such as the UK’s first Shop-Front Theatre Festival, as well as a new lighting commission at Coventry Cathedral in celebration of its 100th anniversary.

There will also be a Streets of Culture celebration, where 21 streets in Coventry will be given the opportunity to express their interpretations of a ‘City of Culture’.

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