Hull says its tenure as UK City of Culture in 2017 will leave a lasting legacy for the city, Yorkshire, and the country as a whole.
With 100 days to go until the start of Hull 2017, the city is preparing to announce the artistic programme for first three months of the year-long celebration.
Organisers say the festivities will begin with a massive fireworks display over the Humber on the evening of January 1, which they say will be even more spectacular than the New Year’s Eve show in London the night before.
They say this will herald a week-long installation across the city, telling the story of the last 70 years of Hull.
Hull 2017 chief executive and director Martin Green said: “We’re going to start with bang.
“We’re going to have a fireworks display on January 1 in the evening. We’re going to fire it from the river, there’ll be tickets which will be free, which will be available from the end of October.
“My hope is that it will be bigger than London the night before.”
Hull is the second city to be given UK City of Culture status, following Derry-Londonderry in 2013.
The city was selected in 2013 amid some surprise, from a shortlist that also included Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay.
Hull has embraced the status with a range of related events.
The visit of US artist Spencer Tunick generated worldwide attention earlier this year when he corralled thousands of naked people painted blue for his trademark photographs around Hull’s landmarks.
The city council says more than £1 billion of investment has flowed into the city in the last three years, including £100 million of capital investment in the cultural and visitor infrastructure.
Alongside the main artistic programme, the council is launching a 10-year Cultural Strategy which it says will secure a lasting legacy from Hull 2017.
Council leader Stephen Brady said: “November 20 2013 - 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.
“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.”
Michelle Dickson of Arts Council England said: “We firmly believe that 2017 is not the end of a process, rather the beginning of a cultural renaissance in the city that we hope to continue to be part of for many years to come.”
The council said that, over the next 10 years, the strategy will have priorities including a bid to make Hull Old Town a Unesco World Heritage site and a £30 million funding bid for projects that will allow the city to exploit its historic role as Yorkshire’s maritime city.