My home town of Stoke-on-Trent is one of the hopeful cities bidding to be the 2021 UK City of Culture. Cities have till the end of January to register interest, with final bids due by the end of April. A shortlist will be announced in July and the winning city in December.Cities involved along with Stoke are Sunderland, Cardiff, Coventry, Hereford, Perth and Paisley.
UK City of Culture is a title given to a city in the United Kingdom whereby the city creates a national cultural event programme for one year. The initiative is administered and judged by the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It aims to celebrate culture and bring a number of significant social and economic benefits to an area. It is a hard fought competition that is entered by several cities in the UK. The title is awarded once every four years.
The programme aims to:
- Encourage the use of culture and creativity as a catalyst for change.
- Promote the development of new partnerships.
- Encourage ambition, innovation and inspiration in cultural and creative activity.
- Align the cultural excellence of national arts organsiations to support the year with cultural highlights that will attract media attention, encourage national tourism and change perceptions.
The first title holder of the award was Derry Londonderry in 2013. In 2017, Hull will take up the title.