‘Changing misconceptions’ of Hull at heart of year of culture

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A LEGACY of regeneration will be “top of the agenda” for Hull’s year as the UK’s cultural capital in 2017, business leaders will be told.

Martin Green, newly-appointed chief executive of the 2017 City of Culture company, will address the region’s business community at a meeting in Hull next month.

Mr Green, former head of ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said major events were a powerful tool for regenerating cities and transforming their image.

“People are mistaken if they think that London had it all already. We got the Olympics not because we just wanted to put on the Games, but because we wanted to regenerate east London.

“In the five years I worked for London I was able to see that area physically change in front of me. The change in Stratford is sensational and that is all because we put a cultural event on. I am really glad to say we put that cultural event on really well, so it also had legacy in terms of memories, pride in the country and belief in ourselves that we can deliver.”

Mr Green added: “I believe we can do the same with Hull. The scale may be different, but the principles are the same – staging cultural events, bringing people into city centres, putting on things that people want to come and see and while they come and see them, they eat and they drink and they stay.

“It also builds the reputation of the place, so you get people saying ‘I want to live in the city now’ or ‘they’ve clearly got a lot of creative people in that place, we should put one of our offices there’.

“It’s all about changing misconceptions – it’s often no deeper than that. If you can build on the pride people have for Hull it really changes how the city feels about itself and how it represents itself to the outside world.”

Rosie Millard, chairman of the City of Culture 2017, said: “City of Culture needs to improve jobs and futures in Hull; and it needs to change perceptions of Hull.”

The meeting is on Friday September 5 from 8.30am. Email louise.drewery@hull.co.uk.