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Birmingham backs Coventry for City of Culture 2021 bid

Coventry's bid was brought to the Second City as part of its adoption by the wider region and won the backing of the business, civic and arts community

David Burbidge and Laura McMillan join supporters at the Birmingham Hippodrome to back Coventry's City of Culture bid

Birmingham has backed Coventry in its bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.

Coventry's bid was brought to the Second City as part of its adoption by the wider region and won the backing of the business, civic and arts community at a packed event at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

The title could bring more than £100 million of economic benefits to the wider region.

More than 200 people attended the event including Martin Reeves, chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

He said: "While it is Coventry's name on the bid, this would bring benefits to the whole of the West Midlands.

"The WMCA is looking to drive the economy of the region and create 500,000 new jobs – culture is very much part of that and can help to ensure that those who haven't previously benefitted from economic uplift feel connected to a future which taps into the amazing asset base and creativity of our people."

West Midlands High Sheriff Keith Bradshaw added: "Coventry has a great technological and engineering history and also a very positive future. What's good for Coventry would be good for the whole region, and we as a region need to support the City of Culture bid so that we can all benefit."

The speeches on the night were linked by a diverse range of performances from Motionhouse, Imagineer, Ruder Than U, The Fabularium and Celtic Feet.

David Burbidge, the chairman of the bid, said: “Our public and business launches in Coventry were very successful and helped to generate wonderful support for our bid.

"We are still working hard in the city to ensure that we maintain the profile of the bid and show how a win for Coventry would help to drive a real step-change for the city.

"Becoming UK City of Culture would bring social, cultural and economic benefits that would be great news for all the communities of Coventry.

"But, when you look at the evidence from Liverpool when it was European Capital of Culture, those benefits are felt across the entire region too - that's why we wanted to bring our message to Birmingham and the support here has been incredible."

Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support.

The Ricoh Arena is Bid Sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, Pertemps and CEF (City Electrical Factors) are all Bid Development Sponsors.

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