BIRMINGHAM.- Birmingham has been shortlisted for the first UK City of Culture title in 2013 it was announced today.
Birminghams bid is led by a multi million pound capital investment programme, designed to equip the city for the creative economy of the 21st century and will include a new Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square; a new Creative Campus for Birmingham City University and a new wing for the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Plans for the programme for 2013, include an eight-week Autumn Festival with a series of international guest curators in collaboration with Birminghams key artistic producers; a blockbuster exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found and Culture on your Doorstep, inviting 1 million local residents to celebrate culture in their own neighbourhoods, the largest public engagement programme ever undertaken by a city.
Councillor Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said today: We would be proud to win the title of UK City of Culture. In these very tough economic times we passionately believe in the role of culture to provide a better future for our citizens. Birmingham is a city that welcomes big ideas, treasures its heritage, and wants to open up its cultural riches to everyone to participate. I want every citizen to share in the rewards and for us to rebuild our economy through the economic powerhouse of creativity and knowledge.
The competition to find the nations first UK City of Culture was launched in July last year by Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw. 14 cities made it onto the long list announced in December last year. The winning city, to be announced this summer will become a focus for national attention in 2013 and could host high-profile national events including the Turner Prize, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, The Brits and the RIBA Stirling Prize as part of their year in the spotlight.