Coventry bids to host City of Culture 2021

cov city bid

Coventry was once the capital of England. There was no Arts Council, no Local Enterprise Partnerships and no combined authorities in those days.

Now it sits as the 15th largest city in England with two award winning universities and its iconic cathedral and modernist architecture. The inventor of Theatre in Education, 2 Tone and the pedestrianised shopping centre is intent on making its mark again on a national stage as one of the UK’s most diverse creative modern cities.


When Hull won UK City of Culture in November 2013 a BBC news story planted the idea that Coventry should bid for 2021.  The cultural sector, city council and universities spent a year looking into the idea. The bid was born but few had realised just how important this might be in joining up the city and giving a voice to the city’s young people and diverse communities.

So, what is a UK City of Culture?

UK City of Culture is a competition that runs every four years. Hull is the next UK City of Culture, in 2017, and Coventry is bidding to become the following city in 2021.

If Coventry wins it will become the focus of an ambitious programme of cultural and artistic events. As various stages of the bid are submitted over the next year – the final bid is to be submitted in Sept 2017, there will be a programme of events to showcase what Coventry is capable of delivering.

The bid to become the next UK City of Culture was formally announced in the summer during the Godiva Festival. The city is a culturally diverse place to live, work and study and is a shining example of how communities can come together at a festival that is enjoyed by both young and old.

As Coventry University is one of the partners for the bid, it is growing momentum all the time and staff and students are encouraged to follow the campaign on Twitter – Coventry2021 and other social media.

Now Coventry’s City of Culture bid has been officially launched, there will be many more opportunities to get involved over the next few months before the announcement of the winning bid is made in March 2017.


City of Culture Tent, Godiva Festival, Coventry, (July 2016) Photo credit: Esmé Spurling

It will certainly be an exciting year.

If you would like to get involved why not visit the Coventry City of Culture 2021 website Click Here

There you will find not only details of what’s going on, and be able to sign up for the newsletter, but you will also find contact information for the bid team.


If you are interested in being part of this incredible journey why not drop them a line? Their email address is


How you can help?

Getting behind the bid is important and as you are all ambassadors for the city, it is something you can get involved with. Why not print out the “Im backing the bid” poster and take a selfie? #Coventry2021 #BackingtheBid

Download here: cov-culture-bid-a4

We will keep updating our blog with regular features, articles and interviews about Coventry’s bid to become the next UK City of Culture, so watch this space!



Guest blog written by Dr Geoff Willcocks, Director of Arts and Culture, Executive Bid Committee Coventry 2021 and Ali Bushnell, Student Communications Officer, Office of Teaching and Learning.

Photography by Esmé Spurling 


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