Coventry named as city of culture for 2021
Electric Wharf in Coventry (Picture: Getty)

Coventry has won its bid to become the next UK city of culture in 2021.

It beat Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea which were in the running for the title – which is credited with attracting major investment to former winners.

The announcement was made in Hull during the BBC’s The One Show, as the current UK City of Culture’s year-long celebration nears an end.

The competition is held every four years, with Derry-Londonderry named as the first winner in 2013.

Coventry named as city of culture for 2021
People in Hull celebrating the news (Picture: PA)

Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: ‘This is a win for Coventry, a win for young people and a win for diversity. The economic impact will be huge for the city and the West Midlands.
“It’s been a bid by and for the people of Coventry. It has brought so many people and organisations together and this is just the start.

‘Over the next three years we will ensure that everyone in the city, which has been moving people by cycle, car and jet engine, is now moving people through culture.’

Emma Harrabin and Justine Themen, from the Coventry bid delegation at the announcement in Hull, admitted they were surprised by the announcement as they had not dared to think they might win.

Ms Harrabin said: ‘We really felt on this whole journey that the city was with us.

Coventry named as city of culture for 2021
Coventry old cathedral shell and new modern cathedral (Picture: Getty)

‘We’ve been inundated with messages of support on social media. It’s just been such a wonderful way for the city to come together and celebrate what it has to offer.’

She said: ‘We knew that we had done absolutely everything we could and we were happy with what we’d delivered.’

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Ms Harrabin said the Coventry team have learned a lot from the success of Hull 2017.

She added: ‘We’ve been up a couple of times and the thing that you can absolutely feel is the fact that the city of culture has touched everybody.

‘You walk down the street and people are talking about it, the volunteers are unbelievable and, walking around today with our badges and our t-shirts and stuff, they know what winning the title means.

‘You can see the impact it’s had on the city.’

Congrats, Coventry!

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