Tony Hall (front, centre) with representatives from the BBC, Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry City Council and the Positive Youth Foundation.
As UK City of Culture, Coventry will be projected onto the national and international stage more than ever before.
That’s the view of BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, who was in the city to discuss the role the Corporation will play in the time leading up to and during 2021.
He told an audience at
Tony Hall said: “I was here before the result was announced when I had the privilege speaking about the future of local radio in the Nave of Coventry Cathedral, which was one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life. It is the most stunning buildings and it was quite a moment.
“The BBC has to be impartial, so we can’t take sides, and no-one had decided who the city of culture was going to be when I went on a tour of the city in a special 2Tone Taxi.
“The Coventry cap was explained to me, I was taken around various music sites and I have to say I got out of the taxi thinking if anyone deserves to win this, it absolutely was Coventry. Well done, number one, you really deserve it.
“You’ve got three years before you are UK City of Culture and that is just enough time for us to work with you to make your dreams come true and to do the things you want the BBC to help you to do.
“We’ve got the time and, believe me, with the BBC, we’ve got the energy.
“It was great to go to Hull about three and half years before they were
“There was the most wonderful and exciting sense of what could be done. We brought the whole of the BBC behind what they wanted to do and it’s one of the most exciting things I’ve done during my time as Director-General.
“You are in exactly the same position. You have a fantastic local radio station and operation working here in the Midlands.”
“Arts and culture can change the way people think about where they live, can change their relationships with people, can change the whole issues of diversity and inclusion.
“Arts and culture changes lives and it changes places.”
The gathering heard how the BBC produced over 250 hours of programming with Hull during 2017, including national documentaries, the Big Weekend and a literature festival.
Laura McMillan, director of operations and Legacy at the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome BBC Director-General Tony Hall to Coventry and to get the chance to talk about a partnership between the BBC and Coventry leading up to and during 2021.
“No other organisation has the reach in the UK and worldwide like the BBC, so working with them will give Coventry profile like it has never seen before.”
The event also heard from the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Tony Skipper and enjoyed a musical performance from members of the Positive Youth Foundation.
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