Hull was announced the winner of the UK City of Culture 2017 title in November 2013. The award is given every four years to a city that demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture as a tool for regeneration.

Amidst tough competition from Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay, Hull had shown it could host the UK's next big cultural event by setting out ambitious plans for an ambitious and extraordinary 365 day programme of cultural activity and events, which would excite communities across the city and far beyond. More than anything the city showed that it could deliver a programme worthy of a world class visitor destination.

Since then Hull was named by the Sunday Times as one of Britain's best places to live, with 30% of UK travelers more likely to visit the city as a result of the title. On the back of UK City of Culture, Hull is seeing increased investment in the city, particularly around the waterfront.

Securing the title of UK City of Culture 2017 provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform perceptions of the city and tackle head on some of the serious economic and social issues that faces cities such as Hull. It is also a key milestone in the delivery of a huge cultural capital programme being led by Hull City Council as part of City Plan to energise and stimulate the local economy in order to create jobs and further investment.

The team behind the planning for the year are an independent company and charitable trust, Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Ltd. The arts and cultural programme for the year will celebrate the unique character of the city, its people, history and geography. Running from 1 Jan to 31 Dec, the year will be split into four seasons, each with a distinctive and intriguing character, curated to challenge and thrill audiences.

Working with national and international artists, alongside the very best local talent, the year will celebrate the culture of the city and its place in the wider cultural offer of the North. Every young person of school age will have the opportunity to participate and the team will also recruit, train and engage 4000 volunteers to help deliver the year.

This wouldn’t be possible with the significant public and private partners that have come on board to support the year, including trusts and foundations, businesses and individuals who are all helping to achieve a fundraising target of at least £18million. For more information on how to get involved, visit: hull2017.co.uk