Combined authority pledges £4m to Coventry if it wins City of Culture

Coventry has been promised a £4m boost should it be named the UK City of Culture 2021 later this week.

More than two years of work will culminate on Thursday (December 7) when judges reveal their choice for the host city.

The funding has been pledged by the West Midlands Combined Authority, which has agreed to filter the money through to the city over four years.

The funding decision has been backed by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, together with the heads of each local authority comprising the WMCA region plus the chairs from each of the Local Enterprise Partnerships in the region, the TUC, the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

A letter sent to the Coventry City of Culture Trust, signed by all parties, said: “We want to take this opportunity to formally put on record our individual, organisational and collective support to the Coventry City of Culture Trust.

“The detailed work you have led through the Trust to create such a compelling case has inspired not just Coventry, but the entire region.

“A bid which will deliver such significant economic impact but at the same time a legacy of community-led cultural assets has been a long time coming for Coventry.”

Speaking ahead of the announcement, David Burbidge, chairman of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are honoured to have been given unanimous backing by councils across the region for our bid and hopefully we will bring the title of UK City of Culture 2021 and everything that comes with it to Coventry.”

The City of Culture title is awarded every four years and the winner for 2021 will become the third recipient after Hull and Derry/Londonderry.

Coventry faces competition from Paisley, Sunderland, Swansea and Stoke-on-Trent.