Hull's Ferens Art Gallery underwent a £5m revamp ahead of the city's year as UK City of Culture 2017

Search to find next UK City of Culture gets underway

Alice Durrans, 18.01.2017
Competition for 2021 festival launches in Hull
Hull has only just kicked off its year as the UK City of Culture 2017 but already the hunt to find a host for the 2021 event is underway.

The UK City of Culture 2021 competition was officially launched at last week’s opening ceremony for Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, which had been closed for a year for a £5m revamp.

Paisley, Sunderland, Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Perth have already announced bids to host the year-long cultural festival. Cardiff and Milton Keynes are also rumoured to be putting themselves forward.

At the launch, the culture minister Matthew Hancock said: “The UK City of Culture is not only a prestigious title, but as Hull has shown, it is a great opportunity to use culture as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration. It showcases the unique identity of our cities, helps boost tourism, and raises the profile of art and culture.

“I urge cities and partnerships across the whole UK to consider entering the competition and I hope to see plenty of ambitious, exciting and innovative bids for 2021.”

Speaking about how the competition has transformed Hull, Daren Hale, the deputy leader of Hull City Centre, said: “We are already seeing huge benefits. Confidence in the city has never been higher and more than £1bn of investment is flowing into Hull, creating thousands of new jobs.
 
“Visitor numbers are increasing, new businesses are opening in the city centre and the volume of positive media coverage Hull is enjoying in the UK and around the world is staggering.”

It is estimated that Hull’s economy will benefit from an additional £60m this year as a result of the festival.

Bids for the UK City of Culture 2021 must be received by April 28 2017. A shortlist will be announced in the summer, before the winning city is revealed in Hull in December.  

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