Lord Digby Jones: Birmingham Bid for UK City of Culture Would Benefit SMEs
Birmingham is bidding to become the first UK City of Culture
The competition invited initial entries in December 2009, and the four shortlisted cities – Birmingham, Derry, Norwich and Sheffield – now have until 28th May 2010 to submit their final bids.
Lord Digby Jones said: “The creative Industries provide so many entry-level jobs for young people and symbolise the achievement of transitioning the West Midlands economy into innovative channels.
“Tourism is one of the Cinderellas of the business space. Employing millions of people and generating enormous inward overseas currency flows, the sector would receive such a boost in the West Midlands if the bid were to succeed.”
He added: “I am proud to add my fulsome support to the bid.”
Lord Jones joins several other key figures from Birmingham who support the bid, including actress Julie Walters, former Python Terry Jones, singer Beverley Knight and Olympic Denise Lewis MBE.
The City of Culture accolade has been created to build on Liverpool’s success as European Capital of Culture in 2008, which created significant social and economic benefits for the city and surrounding areas.
Criteria for the UK award states that the winning city will deliver a substantial programme of cultural activity which leads to a demonstrable step-change in their area, and a lasting legacy.
Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chair of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, commented:
“Winning would allow Birmingham to accelerate the pace of positive change in the city after the recession, creating thousands of new jobs in the creative and hospitality sectors and increasing community engagement in Europe’s most diverse city.”
The first UK City of Culture will take place in 2013 and a winner will be announced this summer.
For more information about Birmingham’s bid, visit the website here: BirminghamCulture.org.