Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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25 November 2013

It is with great pride that we can congratulate Hull for being awarded City of Culture for 2017.

UK City of Culture is a designation given to a city in the United Kingdom for a period of one year. Hull was awarded this honour on the morning of 20th November, the winner announced live on BBC1 news by Culture Secretary Maria Miller. Hull beating the shortlisted cities of Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay.

Hull is known for being the home of poet Phillip Larkin, the Ferens Art Gallery and Hull Truck theatre.

TV producer Phil Redmond, who chaired the City of Culture panel, said Hull was the unanimous choice because it put forward "the most compelling case based on its theme as a city coming out of the shadows"

The city's plans for 2017 include an opening ceremony involving theatrical elephants, dancing white phone boxes and "rivers" of light, people and sound flowing into the city. The Freedom Festival will incorporate a special aerial show taking its theme from the last line of Larkin's poem An Arundel Tomb: "What will survive of us is love".  There will also be a stadium sound and light concert that will see lighting designer Durham Marenghi work with 500 dancers on the theme of illusion and fairs.

It is expected that the events will bring a £60 million boost to the local economy in 2017 alone, as well as a longer-term legacy for the city.

Hull-born actor Maureen Lipman said "The fact we've been regarded as a bit of a joke, I think has made us very strong in the face of opposition. I'm thrilled that Hull got it, finally they got a treat"

Andrew Dixon, the man who directed the city's winning bid, has promised a £15million programme of 365 days of cultural activities and an opening ceremony involving 3,000 volunteers.

You will certainly be hearing a lot more about Hull and we look forward to many new visitors to our city, and with any luck plenty of work for our Equity members.


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