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Who is delivering the City of Culture programme?

The Coventry City of Culture Trust was set up as an independent charity in 2015, with a team of 8 people in place to bid for the title of UK City of Culture 2021. Since winning the bid, the Trust has been operating as a small start-up company, ensuring the right governance, processes and procedures are in place in order to recruit over 50 new team members and deliver an ambitious programme for Coventry.

Who is paying for this?

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) organise the competition for the UK City of Culture. However, there is no cash prize awarded to the winning city from central government. The Trust is currently negotiating with DCMS colleagues.

Coventry City Council is the primary supporter of the Trust, committing £5m in funding as well as additional resource as part of its “City Readiness” programme. This will see the Council invest in improvements to the public realm as well as supporting cultural and heritage organisations with their capital improvements in advance of 2021.

The National Lottery is a key supporter of Coventry 2021 – with Arts Council England pledging £5m and Spirit 2012 committing £200,000 to support the Trust, so far. The National Lottery Heritage Fund pledged to support the winning city regardless of which city won the title, and we are now working closely with them to unlock the £3m they have allocated to support noncapital projects.

The Trust is working with both Warwickshire County Council and West Midlands Combined Authority to ensure that the impact of Coventry 2021 is felt across the region. We are currently negotiating a £5m funding package from regional authorities to support the Trust.

Both the University of Warwick and Coventry University are principal partners. The University of Warwick is committing funds to support the Trust as well as providing considerable academic support to oversee a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme, while Coventry University are delivering their own grants scheme, developing a digital archive and working closely with the Trust to support presentation of events in the city centre in 2021.

During the bidding process, the Trust created a new model of private sector sponsorship for the arts in Coventry. The Trust now has 150 businesses backing Coventry 2021 financially. This private sector sponsorship will continue to grow with the team committed to raising significant sums from this sector.

We are also supported by our Founding Presidents who are local philanthropists.

What are the key dates from here?

We are working on a comprehensive timeline. Until that is finalised, here are few of our milestones:

April 2019

Dynamic City and Collaborative City producing teams started work

May 2019

Caring City producing team started work

June 2019

Music Month

Spring 2020

new website launched

Spring 2020

launch of new citywide box office/ticketing system

Spring 2020

Apprenticeship programme commences

Spring 2020

Volunteer recruitment underway

Autumn 2020

Major events for 2021 announced

January 2021

Coventry starts its year as UK City of Culture

How can I get involved as a volunteer?

We’re still in the process of developing our volunteering model for 2021 but expect that we will be looking to work with volunteers as performers and participants, as city hosts and within community programmes.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to volunteer your time and give something back to Coventry, why not have a look at EnV who manage the Coventry Ambassador volunteer programme? We have partnered with them on a number of our build-up events and they are always on the look out for new volunteers to join them. For more information visit

How can I get involved as a member of the team?

We have made excellent progress to recruit a team to deliver 2021 and the legacy programme beyond. In the coming months we will be advertising further roles. Whilst we don’t accept speculative CVs, we will advertise any current vacancies on our web page and through our Facebook and Twitter pages.

How can I get involved as a supplier / small business?

You can see our latest tender call outs for opportunities on our tendering and jobs page on the website. You can find that here:

How can I get involved as an arts organisation or community group?

We are already carrying out lots of activity to support the great work being done in the city.

We continue to organise themed roundtable events to meet with artists and organisations, to hear ideas, aspirations and plans for 2021. Recent roundtables have covered music, crafts, new writing, dance, outdoor performance and technical theatre.

Find out more –

Our Collaborative City team of producers are out and about in their allocated wards, working closely with all the communities within to co-create work for 2021. Find out which Collaborative City Producer corresponds to your ward of the city on our Collaborative City page.

How can I get involved as a sponsor?

We are always happy to have conversations with businesses and individual philanthropists that are looking to contribute to the project financially. Please email our fundraising team on

How can I get involved as a school?

We are involved in the Coventry Cultural Education Partnership to make sure that we work closely with all education partners across the city. We are hoping that every school in Coventry will assign a 2021 champion and will soon post these details here.

If you work within a school and want to get involved in 2021, it might be worth finding out who your 2021 champion is to see how you can help.

Is there any funding available?

We are currently working with our partners at Heart of England Community Foundation to administer our ‘Road to 2021’ fund, a time-limited fund intended to support individuals, arts organisations and community groups to develop arts projects and initiatives in advance of 2021. We ran this programme last year and were overwhelmed with the response and level of interest. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to fund every project, so we do urge you to carefully consider if your arts project matches the criteria.

To find out more about the funding available and how to apply, visit

The Trust is not a grant funder, though does seek to work closely with individuals and organisations to develop extraordinary programme ideas for 2021. Our Producers can discuss options and processes.

To find out more about the producing team and their roles and responsibilities, visit after it launches at the end of May.

It is worth noting that the Trust is not able to support capital projects or provide revenue funding to any organisation.

We will continue to run our ‘Meet the Funder’ roadshows – inviting local, regional and national funders to Coventry to meet with individuals and organisations. Do sign up to the newsletter HERE to keep up to date on these events.

Will we be doing anything in the run up to 2021 or will it all happen during that year?

We have a fantastic programme already happening in the build-up to 2021 as part of our Great Place activity. Supported by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Great Place Scheme was designed to pilot new approaches that enable cultural and community groups to work more closely together and to place heritage at the heart of communities. We successfully secured funding from the scheme in March 2017 and the activity will continue until March 2020.

To find out more about our build-up activity as part of the Great Place Scheme, visit

What benefits will the region feel now and going forward?

We seek to welcome more than 2.5m additional visitors to the City in 2021 (with 1m returning in 2022). Consequently, we expect that Coventry 2021 will make a £350m economic benefit to Coventry and the region.

In addition to tourism and financial benefits, the Trust is developing a series of initiatives and activities that seek to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Coventry’s citizens, on the biodiversity and sustainability of the city and on the levels of civic pride felt by all residents.

What support is available to help me start or develop a cultural business in Coventry or Warwickshire?

The Trust will be running a number of courses in 2020 to support businesses get ready for 2021, but in the meantime we recommend that cultural businesses take advantage of the services available via the Growth Hub, the Chamber of Commerce and the universities.

Visit or

What are the plans for the legacy of Coventry’s time as City of Culture?

The Trust is currently working on a five-year business plan to ensure that City of Culture leaves a legacy in Coventry. What that programme looks like is still in development, but we expect to be able to share further information around the future of the Trust in late 2020.

What’s the long-term programme?

A significant proportion of the events programme will be co-curated with communities, so is in development over the next 18 months. You can expect large-scale spectacle, music, dance, theatre and poetry as well as more intimate, celebratory cultural and heritage experiences in every ward of the city. We are also working with partners in Warwickshire, so expect that the impact will be felt within our neighbouring communities too.

To be one of the first to find out about when we plan to launch our programme for 2021, make sure you are signed up to our newsletter and social media channels, as we’ll be making all our important announcements on there. You can sign up to the newsletter on our home page

When are you changing the website?

You’ll notice some changes on the website already, and we will be developing a new website to launch early next year.

Can anyone use your logo?

We have brand guidelines available on request. However, donors and sponsors have been issued logos that they’re welcome to use. Everyone else is welcome to use our community logo (downloadable here) on promotional material for events. If you are unsure which logo to use or you would like to run anything by us, please get in touch either by email or by calling 02476 998 221.

Any other Questions?

You can drop us an email on, call us on 02476 998 221 or pop in to see us in our office on Far Gosford Street.

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