UK City of Culture
UK City of Culture is a designation given to a city in the United Kingdom for a period of one year. The aim of the initiative, which is administered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is to "build on the success of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture 2008, which had significant social and economic benefits for the area". The inaugural holder of the award was Derry~Londonderry in 2013. In 2017, Kingston upon Hull will take the title.
In January 2009, it was announced that then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham was considering establishing a British City of Culture prize and that the winning city might host events such as the Turner Prize, Brit Awards, Man Booker Prize and the Stirling Prize. Phil Redmond was invited to chair a panel set up to consider the proposal, with a remit including deciding how often the prize should be awarded. A working group was established in March and reported in June 2009, suggesting that the designation be given to a city once every four years starting in 2013.
The working group stated in its report that the same calendar of events, such as hosting the Brit Awards, should not be staged by each designated City of Culture. Rather, they suggested that the events held in the city should be decided on a case-by-case basis. The report lists possible core events, including those run by the BBC, Sony, the Poetry Book Society, the UK Film Council, the Tate, VisitEngland, VisitBritain, the Museums Association, the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, Channel 4 and the Arts Council England.
Following the report of the working group, Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw announced a competition to select the first UK City of Culture in July 2009. The deadline for initial bids was 11 December 2009, with shortlisted cities having until 28 May to make their final bids. A total of 14 cities applied, with four (Birmingham, Derry, Norwich and Sheffield) shortlisted. It was announced in July 2010 that Derry/Londonderry would be UK City of Culture 2013. The festival is spearheaded by Culture Company 2013 and they have branded the city as Derry~Londonderry.
After 2013, the next UK City of Culture will hold the title during 2017. Officials from Aberdeen stated they would bid for the title, as did officials from Dundee, while local officials from Colchester, Derby, Leicester, Plymouth, Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea, Hull, and York suggested that those cities would bid for the 2017 title. On 18 April 2013, the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce announced that Portsmouth and Southampton were making a joint bid for the 2017 title. There was also a bid from East Kent (Canterbury, Ashford, Folkestone, Dover and Thanet), and another from Hastings and Bexhill-on-Sea, supported by celebrity Graham Norton.
In June 2013 the shortlist of four bids from Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay was announced. The winner of the 2017 title was announced on 20 November 2013 and Hull was chosen. TV producer Phil Redmond, who chaired the City of Culture panel, said Hull was the unanimous choice because it put forward "the most compelling case based on its theme as 'a city coming out of the shadows'". On 31 July 2014 Martin Green was announced Chief Executive of the team. He was previously head of ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics, and masterminded the ceremony for the Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire earlier in 2014.
|Year||Winning city||Other shortlisted cities||Date announced|
|2013||Derry~Londonderry||Birmingham, Norwich, Sheffield||15 July 2010|
|2017||Kingston upon Hull||Dundee, Leicester, Swansea Bay||20 November 2013|
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