Coventry City of Culture Trust Coronavirus Statement

18 March 2020

A statement from Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust

“With the rapidly changing Coronavirus situation, we wanted to share an update with you with regards to UK City of Culture 2021. This isn’t business as usual; as a charity, working as part of a city-wide response with the City Council and all key partners, we will use this time to support those in need, ensuring that our resources can help those in the city during this difficult time.

In the short-term we are refocussing our plans to lend our support to the cultural sector and the community groups who are so central to the vibrancy of our city.

Today we are pledging to:

  • Honour all existing employment and freelance contracts
  • Be flexible with our grant support to those already in receipt of funding
  • Create new artistic commissioning opportunities – acknowledging that local artists can help reduce isolation for our most vulnerable communities during these challenging times
  • Contribute towards a new regional resilience fund – to support those working in the creative sector who are facing short term financial hardship
  • Continue to recruit local freelancers to plan projects for 2021
  • Prioritise purchasing services and goods locally, to boost local economic impact
  • Redeploy our team members to support communities across the city
  • Lobby central government to recognise the risks the cultural sector faces and support initiatives calling for increased investment for arts organisations in the city and region
  • Ensure that we continue planning to celebrate what is great about the City

Inevitably, some of our planned activity will be delayed. Our apprenticeship scheme, volunteer programme and test event, which were all planned to launch in the next few weeks, will now be delayed and we will postpone announcing details of the Opening Event until later this Summer.

If you represent a community group or a cultural organisation that could benefit from the support of our Team, please get in touch with us at or on 02476 998 221 and we will do our best to help.

City of Culture Team members will be working from home, and in communities where we can, for the foreseeable future but you can still contact us at or on 02476 998 221.

We will be back in touch to share our plans around sector and community support within the next two weeks. Please continue to follow us on social media and sign up our newsletter to stay up to date with developments.

Thank you for your continued support, and although we are faced with much uncertainty, what we can promise is that together we will create a joyful, ambitious and celebratory cultural programme for Coventry”.

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