Coventry looks towards a greener future to secure a sustainable legacy for UK City of Culture


Coventry City of Culture Trust has made a commitment to maintaining the impact of its year as UK City of Culture 2021 with the announcement of its legacy ambitions.

From June 2022, the Trust will move into a new phase as it commits to supporting the delivery of ambitious, engaging, interactive and playful events and activities with a climate focus.

This reflects the Trust’s commitment to being outcome-focussed, with every investment, every new arts initiative, every cultural programme and creative project contributing towards the priorities of Coventry’s Cultural Strategy. With this in mind, and with the overall goal of making Coventry a more future-facing and fairer city, the Trust has restated its commitment to the urgent and critical issue of sustainability.

In this next phase, Coventry City of Culture Trust will build on successful programmes delivered during 2021 and will continue to commission new activities with cultural, educational and community organisations across the city. The Trust will also create a grants programme that will support individuals and organisations to build capacity and to develop extraordinary events that enhance the city’s Green Futures credentials.

Over the next two years, the Trust will invest more than £5m in creative and cultural programmes and expects to welcome more than 500,000 audience members to its supported events across the city. To deliver this next phase, the Trust will also secure 32 full time jobs, will support more than 50 freelance artists and cultural workers, will collaborate with a minimum of 20 cultural and voluntary organisations, will engage six apprentices and will continue to support the hugely successful City Hosts programme which has seen over 1,200 fully trained volunteers supporting events in the city.

The Trust has already announced two significant legacy projects, the return of the Assembly Festival Garden and the launch of The Reel Store, the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery, which opens in May.

In the coming months the Trust will announce further details about the legacy programme and encourages anyone interested in finding out more to sign up to the Trust’s newsletter and follow the Trust’s social media channels to be the first to hear about the plans and programmes.

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:

"The UK City of Culture competition is about more than a one-year celebration of culture, it's also about embedding a long-lasting legacy of arts and culture and inspiring more creative activity for years to come, which is important for both wellbeing and the local economy.

"Coventry City of Culture Trust is doing a fantastic job delivering its programme and I'm delighted that it has a vision for so many brilliant legacy projects. I really enjoyed visiting earlier this year and am excited to see what the future holds for this innovative city."

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of City of Culture Trust, said:

“We are delighted that we can continue to support the brilliant artists and organisations who have made such an impact during Coventry’s year in the spotlight. We are grateful to all our partners for their commitment and investment and look forward to working closely with them to ensure that Coventry continues to be one to the most welcoming and creative and sustainable cities in the UK”.

Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said:

"We have always been clear since we initially bid to become UK City of Culture that it was not just about the year itself but about building a lasting legacy that would benefit local people and organisations once the 12 months are over.

“It is good to see the Coventry City of Culture Trust outline its legacy ambitions which I'm sure will help to make arts and culture accessible to everyone in Coventry.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Midlands at Arts Council England, said:

“We’re pleased that Coventry City of Culture Trust will remain working in the city as part of its legacy with a renewed focus on sustainability.

“The Assembly Festival Garden proved hugely successful and we’re looking forward to the opening of the Reel Store, an immersive digital gallery, which promises to inspire both locals and visitors alike.”


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Coventry UK City of Culture 2021

Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 started in May 2021, running for 12 months. The 365-day cultural programme is reflecting Coventry as a diverse, modern city, demonstrating that culture is a force that changes lives. Coventry is known internationally as a city of welcome, a city of activists and pioneers, peace and reconciliation, innovation and invention, and now a City of Culture.

Coventry is the city where movement began, from innovation in the transport industry to a history of welcome, it has moved people for centuries. For a whole year, Coventry has been celebrating with events, music, dance, theatre, and large-scale spectacle. As well as these big celebrations, it has been showing its unexpected side, with more intimate experiences and ways to get involved in every neighbourhood. And it’s not just Coventry. This epic celebration will also witness the entire region benefitting from the opportunities that being City of Culture brings. It has been co-created with the people of Coventry and will bring about long-term social, economic and cultural benefits.

Notes to editors:

The UK City of Culture title has seen in excess of £172million worth of investment into the city, which has led to £500million of regeneration activity in the city. More than a third of event tickets (43 per cent) issued to Coventry residents so far as part of the City of Culture have gone to financially stretched people or those facing adversity and a third of the cultural programme has been co-created with local communities.