‘Riviera of the North’ prepares 2017 bid

Hull city centre
Hull city centre
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HULL will this morning unveil its bid to become the UK’s next City of Culture after MPs made the case in Parliament for “the Riviera of the North”.

An £11m package including some 1,500 different events, 25 festivals, 12 artist residencies and projects that reach into streets throughout the city will be revealed amidst much fanfare today as Hull seeks to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2017.

The City of Culture initiative was launched in 2009 following Liverpool’s success as European Capital of Culture the previous year. The title is awarded every four years, with the Northern Irish city of Londonderry enjoying this year’s inaugural title.

Hull faces competition for the 2017 award from 10 other towns and cities around the UK including Aberdeen, Chester, Plymouth and Southend, with a shortlist due to be announced next month ahead of a final decision in November.

Councillor Steven Bayes, Hull’s cabinet member for city economy, said: “This is a serious bid – not led by celebrity or big names, but by engaging artists and the population at the heart of a year which will make a real difference to the city.”

In the Commons, Hull MPs joined forces to press their case to Government during a Westminster Hall debate.

“Hull – like many areas – is having a tough time, but winning this title would hugely boost the city’s morale,” said Hull East MP Karl Turner. “More importantly, it would create a great number of social and economic benefits.”

Even Southend MP David Amess was moved to pay tribute to Hull as “a wonderful place... the Riviera of the North”.