Nottingham

Nottingham City Centre

Nottingham enters the race to become European Capital of Culture

The City of Nottingham has confirmed that it is looking to bid for European Capital of Culture 2023.

The announcement was made today (16 Aug) and will see Nottingham go up against the likes of Belfast, Dundee, Leeds, and Milton Keynes.

Nottingham’s bid team is confident however that its entry will be heavily supported by people across the Midlands and beyond, and is calling on locals to become Nottingham 2023 ‘Cultural Lions’.

Spearheading the Nottingham 2023 bid is Nottingham’s Strategic Cultural Partnership, with support provided by Nottingham City Council, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Marketing NG.

Paul Russ, chairman of Nottingham's Cultural Strategy Partnership and chair of the Nottingham 2023 board, said: “The lions outside the Council House have been a local meeting, gathering and rallying point for decades, we are a proud and inclusive city and urge people of all backgrounds to ‘join our pride’ and help us get to the next stage of the bid by becoming ‘Cultural Lions’.

“Nottingham is an ambitious, young and diverse city with a culture of grassroots collaboration and a history of rebellious innovation.

“As part of the bid, we want to give everyone in Nottingham the opportunity to take part in a project, production or experience and nurture the next generation of creative producers and cultural leaders.

“We’re proposing a ‘cultural change’ programme that will transform the lives of people in the Midlands; harnessing the power of creativity, stimulating innovation, attracting investment and creating new international networks that will redefine our relationship to Europe and the world.”

Nottingham has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in the UK, with an average age of just 34.

Once the global industrial centre of lace-making, nine out of 10 jobs in Nottingham are now in the service industry, and the city is in the process of reimagining itself as a creative economy for the 21st Century.

Reacting to the announcement, Sir John Peace chair of the Midlands Engine, said: "It’s fantastic that Nottingham is bidding to become European Capital of Culture in 2023, not just for Nottingham, but for the whole of the Midlands.

“Being European Capital of Culture is a huge, year-long opportunity for a city to promote itself and its creative community to the world and to attract significant numbers of visitor from across the UK and overseas, giving a long-term boost to the local and regional economies.

“Art, culture and the creative industries make a surprisingly large contribution to the Midlands economy already and have significant potential to grow, to become more productive and to create more jobs.

I urge the whole region to get behind bringing the European Capital of Culture to the Midlands."