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Coventry businesses back UK City of Culture bid

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Coventry businesses back UK City of Culture bid

Coventry businesses stand on steps wit 'I'm backing the bid' signs

The support shown by businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire for the bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021 could prove vital to its success – according to the man fronting the campaign.

Thirty businesses have already come forward to join the 2021 Club which allows firms to offer financial support to the bid for the next five years.

The money raised pays for the development of the bid, events in the lead up to submission and, should Coventry be successful, helps fund the year of activity.

The bid team is hoping to attract 50 small and medium sized businesses to the 2021 club – and David Burbidge, chair of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, feels their backing underlines the widespread support for the bid.

He said: “There is no question that we have been bowled over by the level of support we have had from all sections of the Coventry and Warwickshire community.”

“We would, to be fair, expect arts and culture groups to be behind our bid, but to see the way business has rallied to the cause has been fantastic. Also, while it is one thing to voice support, it is another to back it financially and to have 30 businesses already signed up gives us great hope.”

“We want to deliver the strongest bid possible and that, frankly, that does take considerable financing.”

"Companies signing up could just prove vital.”

Burbidge outlined the bid to the 2021 Club members at a special reception at Coventry Cathedral.

Members were then treated to a performance by He Is A Pegasus – 24-year- oldmulti-instrumentalist, David Butler.

Mark Hills, General Manager of the Ramada Hotel and Suites Coventry, said his company had backed the bid for two reasons.

Mr Hills said: “Firstly, there is a massive amount of artistic and cultural talent in the city which would be given a huge boost should we be successful, and that can only be good.”

“And secondly there is a clear economic benefit to winning which would stimulate much needed investment in the city and, in particular, the city centre.”

“It is uplifting to see so many people, organisations and companies really backing the bid and there is no question that people are united in wanting to make it happen. We are very happy to be involved.”

Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support.

The Ricoh Arena is bid sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and CEF (City Electrical Factors) are all bid event sponsors.

2021 Club members

The full list of 2021 Club members is: Norman Hay, Barberry, K B Benfield Group Holdings, Listers, Bromwich Hardy, Coachbuilt G.B., Burbidge, ESOS Limited, The Deeley Group, Advent Communications, Corrigans, The Rigby Group, Hall Brothers, Hammons Solicitors, Fargo, Image +, IDP Group, Medwell Hyde, McDonalds, Dafferns, Mogan and Mogan, Band Hatton Button, Brett Martin Daylight Systems, Coombe Abbey Hotel, Pet XI, Pertemps, Warwick International College, Ramada Coventry, Bluemark Projects, West Orchards Shopping Centre, Quidem, Lower Precinct Coventry, Power Torque Engineering, Wright Hassall, Brindley Twist Tafft and James.

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