An ambitious 10-year strategy to transform Hull has been revealed ahead of its UK City of Culture tenure.
Hull City Council’s cultural strategy, which runs from 2016 to 2026, is launched today and outlines a series of funding and heritage bids for the city.
The plans include a bid to make Hull’s Old Town area an official UNESCO World Heritage site.
A £30m funding bid for projects to bolster the city’s maritime history is also part of the strategy.
Hull was chosen as UK City of Culture for 2017 three years ago, and the status is expected to boost the economy by £60m next year alone.
Since being selected as the nation’s culture capital, thousands of jobs have been created in the city through investment including Siemens’s £310m offshore wind manufacturing plant at Alexandra Dock and a £200m Energy Works development by Hull-based Spencer Group.
Coun Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, said the day Hull won UK City of Culture status, “was hailed by many as the day that Hull changed forever, and this is certainly coming true.”
He continued “We’ve had significant investment in the city and have welcomed global businesses like Siemens to Hull, creating well paid jobs for local people. Coupled with the capital investment in our cultural and visitor infrastructure, confidence is high, perceptions of the city are changing and aspiration is growing.
“Our cultural strategy demonstrates our long-term commitment to harnessing one of Hull’s greatest assets not just to change our city, but to improve the lives and opportunities of everyone who lives, works, visits and invests here. For Hull, 2017 is just the beginning.”
The strategy will be led by a new cultural partnership, which aims to develop plans to capitalise on the city’s maritime and international connectivity.
The partnership will steer delivery of culture projects for the city over the next 10 years.
It will also work alongside planned infrastructure projects in Hull including a £50m plan to build Yorkshire’s cruise terminal, and the delivery of a £194m scheme by Highways England to improve the A63.
Martin Green, chief executive of Hull 2017, said: “What has been impressive from the very beginning is the support, commitment and energy there has been for this amazing period of change, from the people of Hull to the Council. Being UK City of Culture is just part of an exciting journey for this city, one that has seen significant investment from the Council, in the public realm and in cultural infrastructure.
“Even more impressive is the fact that there is already a legacy plan underway, well in advance of what might be expected. This shows vision and the belief that arts and culture have a strong role to play in the future success of Hull.”
Work to develop Hull’s 2018 culture programme, as a legacy to the city’s culture capital status once its tenure is over, is now underway.
City leaders are aiming to secure at least £8m for annual cultural programming after the 2017 event comes to an end.
The official UK City of Culture 2017 programme for Hull will be unveiled at Hull Truck Theatre today, at 1.30pm.
The council said culture and the arts are now “being embedded into key citywide strategies”, so that after its culture capital tenure has ended, improvements can be made to health, learning and skills and community cohesion in the city.