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Coventry to receive £8m Capital of Culture boost

Coventry City Council will receive an £8.5m grant to improve the city centre from Arts Council England ahead of its year as UK Capital of Culture in 2021.

The grant will be used to boost Coventry’s arts and culture scene and will help fund significant improvements to some of the city’s major venues and production facilities.

This investment from central government brings the total grant funding for the city centre ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture to £55m.

The Arts Council grant will support a number of projects including the work to refurbish the auditorium at the Belgrade Theatre, work to improve the visitor experience at Coventry Cathedral and plans for St Mary’s Guildhall, Draper’s Hall and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, said the funding is ‘truly fantastic’ news for the city.

‘It will help to ensure that some of our most loved buildings benefit from a cash boost which will enable them to thrive for many years to come,’ he said.

‘By establishing creative centres, we will ensure that we provide opportunities to the fantastic up-and-coming talent we have within our city. And provide a legacy that will last long after our year in the spotlight.

‘Our reign as the UK City of Culture has always been about more than those 12 months, it’s about investing in our future and creating a meaningful legacy for our communities.

Peter Knott, area director, Arts Council England, added: ‘This marks a significant milestone in the run-up to Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021.

‘It will be exciting to see this investment transform the city centre and many of its major venues and facilities. In the longer term, it will also help bring Coventry’s communities together as they celebrate their city and will secure Coventry’s place on an international platform.’

The third UK City of Culture will be held in Coventry in 2021, with Chelmsford, Luton, Northampton, Southampton and Tees Valley all expressing interest in bidding for the 2025 award.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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