key group of cross-party MPs have been in Coventry to find out how the UK City of Culture year is going nearly six months in and discover the long term benefits it is having on the city.

Five members of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee visited Coventry to assess how arts and culture programmes are transforming communities across city, delivering long-term social and economic benefits.

The Committee Chair, Julian Knight – the MP for neighbouring Solihull – led the group which also included Kevin Brennan MP, Alex Davies-Jones MP, Clive Efford MP, and Jane Stevenson MP.

They were met by Coventry City of Culture Trust Chief Executive Martin Sutherland and Coventry City Council’s David Nuttall and introduced to a range of organisations and individuals at the heart of the programme.

During the day they were given a tour of The Turner Prize Exhibition and the Coventry Biennial at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, found out more about the Broken Angel project at Coventry Cathedral and got a sneak peek at the Lost Lending Library at Drapers’ Hall.

The DCMS Select Committee members were also shown some of the public realm improvements in the city and new businesses – such as The Telegraph Hotel and Metropolis Restaurant that have opened during the UK City of Culture year.

Julian Knight said: “Our visit to Coventry allowed us to experience life at the heart of a City of Culture and to find out what it means to be part of it.

“We were particularly interested in how the organisers have worked with local communities and to find out where there are opportunities to benefit from the cultural legacy in the years to come.

“We’ve heard from the team that this is not just a one-year celebration but one that creates opportunities for the future. It was great to meet some of the people involved with some of the ideas behind this celebration of Coventry.”

Martin Sutherland said: “We are close to being six months into our year and it was great to reflect on that with the members of the DCMS Select Committee.

“However, we know that there is still much work to do for the remaining six months of the year – and beyond – to ensure that being UK City of Culture brings all of the benefits we want to achieve for the city through holding the title.”

Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Our year as UK City of Culture really has changed our city, with new venues and attractions, a new-look city centre and so much more. We have enjoyed a marvellous first six months of our reign and we are looking forward to the second half when there is so much more to come.

“We are using arts and culture to change people’s lives, now and for the generations to follow, and we are working across the city with all our many communities to get everyone involved.

“This is a crucial year for Coventry and we are very proud of what we have achieved so far and we were delighted to share that with our visitors and show what the title of UK City of Culture means to us all and to the future of our city.”

Pictured (left to right): Cara Pickering (Coventry 2021), John Witcombe (Coventry Cathedral), Kevin Brennan MP, Julian Knight MP, Alex Davies-Jones MP, Clive Efford MP, Jane Stevenson MP.

Pictured (left to right): Martin Sutherland (Chief Executive City of Culture Trust), Ruth Hollis (Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012), Lady Jane Gibson (Chair of Spirit of 2012), Alan Rivett, Julian Knight MP (Chair of Commons Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), Chenine Bhathena (Creative Director City of Culture Trust).




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