City of Culture
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons/ DeFacto

Coventry to receive an extra £3.5 million to hold Covid-safe UK City of Culture events this summer

Coventry is set to receive an additional £3.5 million from the Government to help its UK City of Culture celebrations go ahead this summer.

Provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, the money will be used to enable activities to take place with ‘enhanced Covid-19 safety and hygiene methods’, alongside providing a live stream of events for audiences at home.

It brings Coventry’s overall government support for its year as UK City of Culture to over £18.5 million, including £8.5 million of capital funding for heritage and cultural organisations such as the Daimler Powerhouse, FarGo Box, Belgrade Theatre, Drapers Hall, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, and Coventry Cathedral.

The National Cultural Investment Fund provided the Coventry City of Culture Trust with £6.58 million for resource and legacy projects, including a new digital art gallery. Art Council England has granted £4.9 million in further support money.

Meanwhile, 28 organisations in Coventry have received £8.8 million of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them survive the pandemic. 

 

“This additional funding will help the city as it begins its exciting year of celebrations for UK City of Culture and I look forward to seeing how the next 12 months will benefit the local area as we build back better from the impact of Covid.”

 

– Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary

Martin Sutherland, chief executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This funding will help us to deliver our promises to Coventry and to the visitors we hope to welcome soon, starting with a Summer of Surprises. We are excited to share the extraordinary creativity from Coventry and explore new ways to use digital platforms and broadcast channels to reach new audiences both in person and at home.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging 12 months for the sector; this new funding enables us to support the organisations, artists, freelancers, and communities who are so key to delivering a safe, secure and exciting year for the city.”

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Coventry has demonstrated a remarkable resilience and ability to adapt during these challenging and unprecedented times. Now more than ever, it is vitally important that we bring our communities together through culture, arts and heritage.

“This additional funding will help the city as it begins its exciting year of celebrations for UK City of Culture and I look forward to seeing how the next 12 months will benefit the local area as we build back better from the impact of Covid.”

Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 will commence on May 15, lasting for a year with a 365-day cultural programme. This year’s Booker Prize and Turner Prize winners will also be named in Coventry.

Coventry is the third UK City of Culture, a merit taken up by a different city every four years, with Derry-Londonderry being the first city to receive the honour in 2013, followed by Hull in 2017.

A student from the University of Warwick said: “I think it’s great that Coventry has secured funding of this sort for its artists and freelancers. Coventry is typically overlooked as a city but in fact, it is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. I hope that this funding will be able to attract more visitors to Coventry in the coming year.”

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