Birmingham competes for second major hosting opportunity

By on 17/12/2009 in News

Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that Birmingham has been selected by the Football Association as a host city as part of the England bid to host the 2018 World Cup, the Government has confirmed that Birmingham is also one of 14 cities competing to become the UK's first City of Culture in 2013.

If Birmingham is successful in achieving UK City of Culture status it will shine a spotlight on the West Midlands throughout 2013, attracting major events, encouraging visitors and providing a significant economic boost to the region, which has suffered more than any other in the UK in the current recession.

It will also create a legacy of a higher profile for the city as a great place to live, work and visit which will attract inward investment to the whole region.

Economists are busy calculating the potential impact based on Liverpool's 2008 experience as European Capital of Culture which netted the North West over £800m and created thousands of jobs. 

Cllr Martin Mullaney, chair of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, which is leading the bid, said today: “This is a unique opportunity for the whole region to benefit from the major economic boost and profile that winning this prestigious title would offer.

“We know from experience that when we host major events the benefit is felt right across the region in terms of visitor spend with local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and travel companies.

“We are fiercely proud of Birmingham's cultural assets, from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Birmingham Royal Ballet, to the many talented, thriving community-based groups and individuals. But our reputation lags behind reality and not enough people know just how much goes on here. This is the perfect chance to change that and also to introduce some new, exciting major events like the proposed Autumn Festival. 

“As well as attracting visitors to the region, being UK City of Culture would also give us the chance to make sure people from across the region explore what their local area has to offer in terms of culture.”

If selected, as part of winning UK City of Culture in 2013, Birmingham would play host to major live broadcast events including The BRITS, Turner Prize and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, which has already been hosted twice in the region by The NEC.

The shortlist is set to be announced early in the New Year with the winner chosen in early summer.

Click on the link below for your chance to help shape Birmingham’s bid to be the UK’s first City of Culture in 2013.

The website invites members of the public to share their ideas for the City of Culture bid.

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