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City of Culture impact will be measured over ten years in Coventry

The impact of UK City of Culture will be measured over a 10-year period, businesses have been told.

City of Culture impact will be measured over ten years in Coventry

Pictured (left to right): Leigh Hunt (CityFibre), Louise Wall (Chamber), Martin Sutherland (City of Culture Trust)

The Coventry City of Culture Trust is currently assembling the team which will deliver the year-long programme and for now, no details of what is in store will be announced.

But the man charged with overseeing the initiative – the Trust’s chief executive Martin Sutherland -has revealed some of the numbers which are key to the success of Coventry’s big year.

Speaking at a Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast held at the Council House in the city centre, Sutherland said leaving a legacy in the city was one of the primary aims.

“From this month, we will have producers embedded in the communities across Coventry and will be aiming to reach 80 per cent of the city’s population three or more times during the year.

“Our year will be literally that – 365 days of activity. We will be developing and showcasing the fantastic talent we have in the city and while UK and international groups will also come to the city, all will need to demonstrate a long-term commitment to supporting artists, organisations and communities in Coventry if they want to be involved.

“This will not be a traditional festival when there is a flurry of activity and then everyone moves on – we want this to be sustainable in every sense and we are embarking on a 10-year evaluation exercise to ensure that happens.”

Sutherland revealed that 16,000 local volunteers will be recruited to work on 2021, while more than 6,000 visitors are expected to come to the city every day during the year.

Sutherland was joined by Leigh Hunt of CityFibre, who outlined the company’s progress in rolling out fibre communications to businesses and homes across the city.

Louise Wall, Group Commercial Director of the Chamber, said the sheer scale of the UK City of Culture 2021, presented enormous commercial opportunities for businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire.

She said: “It is going to be a landmark year for Coventry and one which will enhance our already growing national perception.

“The numbers Martin detailed really brought home the economic potential the year will present, not only for those in leisure and hospitality but also a myriad of other sectors.

“It is clear that the Trust is determined that maximum benefit from 2021 is felt by all communities across the city – and that includes the business community.”

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