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Arts Council gives Coventry £5m grant as preparations for City of Culture year begin

St Michael Cathedral church, Coventry, which will hold the title in 2021. Photo: Shutterstock St Michael Cathedral church, Coventry, which will hold the title in 2021. Photo: Shutterstock
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Plans for Coventry’s forthcoming year as UK City of Culture have been given a £5 million boost by Arts Council England.

The funding body has allocated the money from National Lottery investment, and comes as Coventry begins the build up for its year-long tenure in 2021.

The funding will go towards the delivery of the UK City of Culture events, alongside financially supporting the preparations and developing a legacy programme.

ACE chief executive Darren Henley said the £5 million would enable the team behind the plans to “turn their creative dreams into a reality”.

“My belief is that by the end of 2021, the lives of everyone here will have changed for the better. Along the way, this sustained investment in art and cultural organisations will secure Coventry’s rightful place on the national and international stage as a dynamic, innovative, inclusive, international and forward-looking 21st-century city,” he said.

Supporters are hoping that Coventry’s UK City of Culture programme emulates the success of that in Hull in 2017, when 95% of the city’s residents engaged in at least one arts activity and performance venues increased their audiences by 30%.

Martin Sutherland, chief executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said the scale of ACE’s backing “will be a major contribution to realising that ambition”.

The funding was announced at an event in Coventry on October 22.

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