As it becomes 2017 City of Culture, the Yorkshire conurbation is investing £80m in a year-long programme set to provide a welcome boost to the local economy
Hull’s most notable association with the arts arguably resides with the celebrated poet Philip Larkin, who spent 30 years as the librarian of the city’s university. But this looks set to change in 2017 when it becomes the UK City of Culture.
It’s the second city to be awarded the title – Derry/Londonderry was the first, in 2013 – and if the success of its predecessor is anything to go by, Hull should receive a big economic boost in 2017.
Tourism in the Northern Irish city increased by 50 per cent during its tenure, bringing £47m to the local economy, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Hull city council is investing £80m in a year-long programme that will see cultural venues, landmarks and public spaces undergo redevelopment. It is estimated Hull will also attract £260m of private sector investment as well as £47m of government funding, which will create jobs and boost tourism.
The programme, which will celebrate Hull’s history, people and geography, will begin with a fireworks display over the Humber on New Year’s Eve. From New Year’s Day, buildings will be illuminated with icons of local history (see link below).
“This city has contributed hugely to ideas that have changed and enriched the world,” says Martin Green, director of Hull 2017. “Next year will show the power that art has to bring people together, to educate and provoke debate – to transform lives. Hull invites the world: everyone back to ours 2017.”
The UK City of Culture initiative was announced in 2009 by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport after Liverpool’s economy was bolstered by £753.8m following its year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.