‘World-class’ event expected in city’s culture celebrations

City of Culture chief executive  Martin Green.
City of Culture chief executive Martin Green.
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A “world class” event to take place during Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017 will be revealed next week.

Hull 2017 chief executive Martin Green said the first programme announcement, made to a 400-strong audience at Hull Truck Theatre on Thursday, would be of a “major national event.”

New funding partners are also expected to be announced at the event, which will have Arts Council England chief executive Darren Henley in the audience, as well as representatives from the British Council and Spirit of 2012, a trust, established after the London Olympics, with a £47m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund.

Mr Henley, the former head of Classic FM, who studied politics at Hull University, will be making his first speech in his new role to a smaller invited audience at the Ferens Art Gallery in the morning.

Community groups will also be told about a small grants programme, which should open by the end of the year.

Mr Green said the programme announcement would be a “statement of intent about the level of ambition” for City of Culture which he wants to make the “nation’s cultural festival.”

He said City of Culture had “serendipitously” coincided with the Government’s drive for a Northern Powerhouse. Chancellor George Osborne had taken a “keen interest” in northern culture, putting £78m towards the new theatre and arts venue in Manchester. Mr Green said: “We think Hull geographically is in a really good position to have a very positive conversation with a range of stakeholders including the Government as we travel towards and beyond 2017. Everybody accepts there is an imbalance between either end of the motorway.”

Community groups will also find out more about how they get involved.

The programe will be shaped over the four seasons to the themes in the city’s successful bid to host City of Culture, starting with “Made In Hull” in the Spring and ending with “Tell The World.”

Mr Green said: “If you have an existing event that year, or want to do something new, think about how you can bring into the themes. The next stage will be tell us what you are going to do so we can market it. Finally if you believe you will need some money we expect to open a small grants programme at the end of the year where people can apply to get some funding.”