Hull City Council has today confirmed its continuing commitment to investing in culture and the arts with a £250 million plan to deliver further improvements to the city’s cultural and visitor infrastructure and a pledge to provide on-going support to the city’s independent arts sector. The Council has also welcomed and will support a new role for the Culture Company, which was established by the city to deliver its year as UK City of Culture.
The plans will ensure that Hull builds on the success of 2017, maintaining the momentum of positive change and creating the conditions for Hull to achieve its City Plan ambition of becoming a world-class cultural destination.
Following on from the £50 million already invested by the Council and its partners in major cultural regeneration projects, including a £25 million public realm project, work to kick-start the redevelopment of the Fruit Market and major improvements to Hull New Theatre and the Ferens Art Gallery, the Council today confirmed a further £250 million plan for public and private sector investment over the next 10 years.
The plans have been in development since Hull launched its City Plan in 2013 and include:
- A new £30m, 3,500 capacity regional music, arts and conference venue that will open in the summer of 2018.
- A major £7m refurbishment for Woodford Leisure Centre in east Hull, also set to open next year.
- The creation of a major new £27 million attraction that will shine a light on Hull’s unique heritage as Yorkshire’s Maritime city. Funded by the Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will see the city’s much-loved Maritime Museum completely transformed, the regeneration of the city’s oldest docks and the restoration of two historic ships.
- On-going development of a £50m Cruise Terminal for Yorkshire.
- The £130m redevelopment of Albion Square and Bond Street in the heart of the city to enhance Hull’s visitor and leisure offer.
- A £3m restoration for historic Pearson Park.
Speaking at an event to announce Hull’s cultural legacy plans today, Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, also reinforced the Council’s commitment to supporting independent arts organisations in the city. In addition to working with Arts Council England to support the city’s five National Portfolio Organisations, Councillor Brady pledged £1m to allow the repurposed Culture Company to continue to deliver world-class cultural programmes in 2018 and beyond.
Councillor Brady said: “Hull’s journey towards City of Culture and the year itself has shown that investing in the arts and culture works. From raising our city’s profile and attracting record numbers of visitors to regenerating our places, improving the opportunities and well-being of residents, inspiring our young people and capturing the spirit of our wonderful volunteers, it’s an investment worth making.
“2017 has been incredibly successful, but is just the beginning for Hull. Our collective ambition for the future is bigger and bolder and with the whole city working together, as we have done in the build up to and delivery of 2017, we will deliver.”
Martin Green, Chief Executive of Hull 2017, said: “In originally bidding to become UK City of Culture, Hull City Council showed its commitment to culture as central to its plans for Hull’s future success. We are therefore delighted to see it reaffirming that commitment, which will help ensure Hull’s position as force to be reckoned with, not just in the North, but nationally. Creating a legacy for the city is of course a collective act, and Culture Company will continue to work alongside the Council and other partners to ensure culture remains at the forefront of those plans.”