The battle has been fought and won. Coventry has been announced as the next UK city of culture 2021.
I visited Coventry a few weeks ago and it certainly did have a nice vibe to it, from the remains of the Cathedral to the Belgrade Theatre. I’m sure the inward investment will be huge for the city.
At the same time, it needs to grasp this opportunity and milk it for all it’s worthwhile also standing firm to its own bid. This week Nativity! was announced to start it’s 2018 tour in Coventry but with ticket prices upwards of £40 perhaps some more consideration has to be given to the accessibility of culture.
As for Stoke, now the challenge really begins. The battle has brought some much-needed spotlight into the area and hopefully with it comes a changed outwards look on the City. Stoke is no longer stuck in the past, it’s racing towards the future. The people of Stoke need to work together to show that it’s not all about winning the title that matters. The beating heart of potteries remains strong and that is what will guide it through to the future.
Whether the council continues it’s support for culture is yet to be seen. I don’t want to to be seen as negative, but the attitude towards potentially one of the biggest cultural events of the year (The Christmas Light Switch One) wouldn’t be seen in a positive light from the judges. Budgets are being squeezed more than ever and it is time for Stoke on Trent City Council to continue to invest in culture with or without the banner of Stoke 2021
There are some great organisations in Stoke and they will continue to reach far and wide. Whether it’s from the Kilns being fired up again, the New Vic or any one of the brand new and vibrant cultural eateries that have opened in the last couple of years stoke is on the up and everyone needs to be part of it.