Today we're thrilled to announce that the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport has awarded us a generous grant of £3.5 million.
This funding boost will support a wide range of work, helping us to extend our broadcast and immersive tech programmes, strengthen our covid safety measures and deliver our Summer of Surprises over the next few months.
Livestreaming provision will ensure that people from all over the West Midlands and across the UK can join in with the launch of our UK City of Culture year from the safety of their own homes. As Covid-19 restrictions lift, the money will also go towards enhanced safety and hygiene, allowing in-person celebrations to go ahead and providing reassurance to audiences.
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.”
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”.
The additional £3.5 million announced today brings the total government support for Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture to over £18.5 million. This includes £8.5 million of capital funding for key heritage and cultural organisations including the Daimler Powerhouse, FarGo Box, Belgrade Theatre, Drapers Hall, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and Coventry Cathedral. The Cultural Investment Fund provided £6.58 million to the Coventry City of Culture Trust for resource and legacy projects including a new digital art gallery.
In addition, Arts Council England has allocated £4.9 million to support Coventry’s success as City of Culture and over £8.8 million of the government’s unprecedented £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has been awarded to 28 organisations in Coventry to help them through the covid-19 pandemic.
More than £170 million has also been awarded to over 1,000 organisations in the Midlands from the government’s unprecedented Cultural Recovery Fund.
UK City of Culture is a competition run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport every four years. The competition celebrates culture in all its forms across the UK and helps to stimulate economic growth, create jobs in the community and attract inward investment, leading to a lasting legacy of social, cultural and economic change.
In 2021-22, Coventry is planning a spectacular year of events and activities, from our city-wide celebration Coventry Moves on 5 June, through to established events like the Turner Prize and International Booker Prize announcements. You can find out more about what's coming up on our Coming Soon page, with more events due to be announced soon!
It is expected that Coventry’s year as City of Culture will see an economic boost of £211 million with an additional 2.5 million visitors. It is hoped that 80% of the city’s residents will engage with the programme three or more times across the year, and it will attract around 10,000 volunteers and create more than 900 jobs.