Regional

By Louise Drewery on 16 September 2016

With a week to go to programme details being announced for Hull UK City of Culture 2017, figures have been released showing how much funding has been raised to produce the year-long cultural celebration. Following the city's successful bid in 2013, the Hull 2017 Culture Company - the charity established to deliver the programme - set a funding target of £18 million. The aim was to develop a 365 day programme of cultural events and activities taking place in every neighbourhood across the city. Building on Hull City Council's £3.6 million investment as Host City, Hull 2017 has been able to secure £32m, representing a 9:1 return.

Including the council and support from the 22 Bid Angels, a total of 61 partners have demonstrated the confidence they have in Hull being UK City of Culture and the potential to transform lives and make a lasting difference to the city. They include public bodies and lottery distributors; trusts and foundations and local and national businesses.

Martin Green, CEO and Director, Hull 2017, said: 'We have been blown away by the high levels of support for Hull UK City of Culture. This funding has come to the city thanks to investment by the council, as well as the people of Hull who got behind the bid. Without that strong commitment it would not have been possible to raise the funds necessary to deliver the unparalleled programme we are announcing next week.'

"It's a massive vote of confidence in Hull and supports the ambition to use culture to transform lives and further raise the city's profile as place to visit, study, invest in and do business with."

The funding for Hull 2017 enables it not only to deliver an unparalleled year of culture, but to fulfil the commitment to ensure everyone living in the city has the opportunity to participate.

68 per cent of the funding is dedicated to public facing activities, from programming dozens of cultural events in every corner of the city, with a further 11 per cent for legacy and contingency.

More than £5 million is being invested in volunteering, learning and community engagement, as well as cultural activity in every corner of the city. The learning programme No Limits being launched in October will give over 60,000 children and young people across the city the opportunity to play their part in Hull UK City of Culture year. This includes working with artists in their schools and as part of community residencies and receiving a range of classroom resources.

The volunteering programme has so far signed up more than 2,000 people, bringing opportunities to be at the heart of the action, make friends and develop and gain valuable experience and skills. Hull 2017 is also supporting activities aimed at reducing social isolation and getting people more active. Many events involve artists from Hull and further afield, working within local communities to develop new artistic work.

£1.6 million is also being invested to ensure a legacy after 2017. This includes capacity building, such as supporting existing events so they can grow, staging curtain-raiser events, developing future programming for after 2017 and building a new platform to support a unified ticketing system for the city.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Brady said: "This is a great vote of confidence in Hull and the 2017 team, led by Martin Green. It will allow the city to stage a truly spectacular year of cultural events and to maximise the economic benefits, with £60 million expected to flow into our local economy as a direct result of hosting UK City of Culture 2017.

"I'd like to thank all of the funders and partners who have backed Hull as we look forward with pride to the launch next week." Details of partners and supporters can be found on the website: www.hull2017.co.uk/partnerships. The programme for season one and highlights from the rest of the year will be announced on Thursday 22 September. www.h

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