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  1. Live updates from Hull's year as UK City of Culture
  2. This page is updated with stories, pictures, videos and more as they are made
  3. Scroll back down the page to see what's happened so far in March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Luton's City of Culture bid to move a step closer

Plans for Luton's bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2025 are moving a step further.

Luton Borough Council's executive committee will discuss if the council can commit £350,000 to fund extensive consultation and research.

If given the go-ahead, the research will be carried out in 2019 and will enable the council to make an informed decision on whether or not it should make a bid, a report said.

The report, which will go before the committee on Monday, says savings will have to be found in the 2019/20 council budgets to fund the programme.

Luton Carnival
Getty Images

Hull culture company boss steps down

The new Executive Director of Hull's Culture Company has quit citing personal reasons.

The announcement's been made today that Emma Morris is stepping down from her role

Chair of the Culture Company Lee Corner thanked her for her hard work and said they are preparing for the launch of the new name as they take the brand forward.

Coventry picks boss to lead 2021 City of Culture events

Coventry has appointed the person who will run it's UK City of Culture festivities in 2021.

Martin Sutherland, originally from Paisley in Scotland, is the current head of the Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust and also manages the Cube in Corby along with Northampton's Royal Derngate Theatre.

City of Culture bid team celebrate

He'll take up the executive director post with the Coventry City of Culture Trust in the autumn.

City of Culture a 'game-changer'

BBC News

Hull's status as the UK City of Culture attracted more than five million people, £220m of investment and 800 new jobs to the area.

But as it passes the baton to Coventry, do UK Cities of Culture create lasting legacies?

Coventry's City of Culture team

In December, Coventry found out it would become the UK's third City of Culture, in 2021.

Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, described the accolade as a "game changer" for England's ninth largest city, saying it had been "for too long overlooked and undervalued".

"Hull did an incredible job," says Laura.

"We can learn from what they achieved, but Coventry will do this its own way and we will use UK City of Culture to tell our story."

Spencer Tunick's Sea of Hull installation in the streets of Hull

Mark Bosworth

BBC World Service

Hull is revelling in its success and handing the baton to Coventry - but is it worth it?

Read more

BBC Proms to bring Stravinsky to city

It's been announced today that one of the BBC Proms concerts will come to Lincoln later this year.

Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale will be performed at the Lincoln Drill Hall, which was home to the 4th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment.

Drill Hall
Lincoln Drill Hall

It's the second time the Proms concerts have travelled outside London. Last year they visited Hull as part of the City of Culture events.

Lights fantastic: Spotlight falls on Hull landmarks

Hull's landmarks are going to be bathed in colour when a permanent light installation is officially switched on next month.

Hull City Hall bathed in purple light

The coloured lighting in and around Queen Victoria Square has been designed by the artist who brought The Blade (pictured) to Hull as part of the City of Culture celebrations last year.

The Blade in Queen Victoria Square in Hull

Lucky people who were in the city centre last night got a preview of the display, as a technical test was carried out.

Hull Maritime Museum bathed in orange light

The lights will be officially switched on on Thursday 5 April.

Shop Front Festival: City hosts major arts event

Vanessa Pearce

BBC News

Coventry will host the UK's first Shop Front Festival from today bringing drama, dance and music to the heart of the city.

Theatre Absolute

Existing stores and empty shop units will be turned into performance venues for the next two days.

Even the very British art of queuing will be celebrated.

The idea is to encourage people to see the city centre as somewhere to visit for more than shopping.

It's the first major arts event since Coventry won City of Culture 2021 status.

Hull City of Culture: The figures

A report out today has looked at how successful Hull's year as City of Culture for 2017 has been.

City of Culture
Getty Images

Here are some of the figures:

  • There were more than 2,800 activities, installations and exhibitions during the year-long cultural celebration
  • Younger audiences aged 16-34 years old were under-represented at events, though there was a high representation of people aged 55-64
  • The 800 new jobs created since 2013, in the visitor and cultural sector, were a result of £220m investment "fully or partly attributable" to the City of Culture award
  • There was a "significant increase" in arts and culture participation and a new confidence in the city
  • About 2,4000 volunteers provided an estimated 337,000 hours of help
  • Annual visitor figures are expected to see a 1.3m increase on 2013, when Hull was chosen to be city of culture

Hull Truck sees increase in visitor numbers

Hull Truck Theatre saw its audience numbers go up by 22% last year during City of Culture.

Hull Truck

They reckon visitors from 97% of all UK postcodes areas went to an event at the theatre.

Overall 88,000 people went to see a production at the Hull Truck during 2017.

Over 5 million people visited Hull during City of Culture.

Hull City of Culture year brings major tourism boost

Over five million people visited Hull last year for its year of City of Culture celebrations in 2017.

We Are Hull event

The findings are from a new report by the University of Hull which looks at the impact the City of Culture year has had on the area.

It also shows more than half of businesses increased their turnover in 2017, with a quarter hiring more staff.

Tourism was worth more than £300m to the city last year, the statistics show.

The leader of Hull City Council says the findings of the City of Culture impact report has surpassed his expectations.

I am particularly pleased about the participation from Hull residents, with nine out 10 people going to at least one cultural event. Fifty six thousand schoolchildren have been involved throughout the year. It's more than I could have hoped for."

Councillor Stephen BradyLeader of Hull City Council

David Meyler to leave Hull City at end of the season

Head Coach Nigel Adkins discusses Meyler's departure with BBC Look North

Opera comes to Hull estate

People living on a Hull housing estate will be treated to a performance from Opera North today.

Thornton Estate, Hull

The company will be performing a 30 minute version of Don Giovanni on the Thornton Estate, as part of a project to bring opera to the community.

Opera North is running a series of singing workshops and performances in the area, as part of the In Harmony community programme which is aiming to build on the legacy of Hull's City of Culture year.

One city, 365 days: Book celebrates Hull City of Culture

A new book celebrating Hull's year as UK City of Culture is available from today.

We are Hull

The limited edition book is called 365 and contains 200 pages of photographs and poems reflecting Hull's 2017 season.

More than 3.5 million people attended City of Culture events in Hull last year, according to the city council.

Hull was the second city to be given UK City Culture status, following Derry-Londonderry in 2013.

All profits from the book will be used to help fund new cultural events and activities in Hull.

Ehab Allam explains why he cancelled Supporters' Committee Meeting

Hull City vice-chairman blames "veiled threats" of disruptive disorder

Art for art's sake at Hull street site?

Hull City Council is to meet artists today over plans to turn a part of Hull into an area for street art.

Street Art

It's after the famous street artist Banksy created a mural on a disused bridge on Scott Street.

Since the mural was created dozens of people have visited the site.

Hull graffiti artist Ollie Marshall wants the surrounding area to become "a creative art space" with designated legal walls to allow artists to paint murals.

The replica plane

The replica, built by prisoners, will be displayed in St Stephen's shopping centre in the city.

Read more

Artwork of babies born in Hull to be celebrated

The success of a unique project which recorded the birth of babies born during Hull's year as City of Culture is being celebrated today.

Baby Feet artwork

Throughout 2017, babies born in the city had impressions of their feet taken by midwives which were then displayed at the Hull Women and Children's Hospital.

Funds raised from today's event will go towards improving patient experiences on the maternity wards.

The project has been a brilliant addition to what is already a moment of celebration, welcoming new babies into the world. What I loved about it was its inclusivity, it gave people who wouldn't ordinarily see culture or art as 'their thing' be part of Hull’s brilliant year."

Sallie WardCommunity Midwifery Sister

In Pictures: Culture volunteers take centre stage

It starts tomorrow but here's a preview of an art exhibition dedicated to Hull's City of Culture volunteers.

It opens tomorrow at the Humber Street Gallery.

Volunteers exhibition
Volunteers exhibition
Volunteers exhibition
Culture exhibition
Hull 2017

Hull's City of Culture experts to visit Coventry

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Key figures from the team that helped deliver events for Hull City of Culture 2017 will be in Coventry to give insight and advice to Coventry, who will host in 2021.

They will be visiting numerous locations before sharing what went well for Hull and what didn't.

Coventry winners
Ferens gallery

Visits to Hull's Ferens art gallery were the highest ever during the UK City of Culture festival.

Read more

Record numbers visit Ferens Art Gallery in 2017

More than 500,000 people visited Ferens Art Gallery in Hull last year.

Ferens Art Gallery

That's an increase of 309% compared with 2014.

The venue opened nearly a year ago following a £5.2m refurbishment.

It's hosted a number of exhibitions including the Turner Prize and figures show it was the second most visited Turner Prize outside of London.

Opera North celebrates its year in Hull

Anne-Marie Tasker

BBC Look North

Opera North brings the curtain down on its year in the City of Culture with a performance at Hull City Hall today.

Violinists playing in an orchestra.
Opera North

The company returned to full-scale performances in the city this year and tonight will celebrate with what it's calling a glittering Viennese Whirl.

It's also promising there will be more to come in 2018 with an expanded programme in the city's schools.

City of Culture boosts job opportunities in Hull

Caroline Brockelbank

BBC Local Live

New figures show the number of young people out of work and claiming benefits in Hull has dropped by nearly 70%.

We are Hull projected onto a building in front of a crowd of people.

Jobcentre Plus say projects designed to get those who've had a difficult start in life into employment are working.

They also say being the UK City of Culture has meant more opportunities in the creative industry sector.

Parade in Hull

More than £1bn has been invested in the the city since it was awarded the title, the council said.

Read more

Hull 2017: 'Awe-inspiring, life-enhancing success'

Hull 2017: UK City of Culture

The Arts Council England has described Hull's year as UK City of Culture as an "unmitigated rip-roaring, awe-inspiring, life-enhancing success."

The UK's second-ever City of Culture tenure has been widely praised, especially for how it has included so many local people.

It is estimated to have provided an economic boost for Hull set to exceed the bid's forecast of £60m.

Hull 2017
Thomas Arran

The year-long programme began with Made in Hull - which bathed many of the city's best known buildings in light installations - and drew more than 342,000 people over seven days.

And the year culminated with the UK's best-known arts award - the Turner Prize - being awarded in the city, with the prize exhibition hosted in Hull's fully refurbished Ferens Art Gallery.

'For 2017' - a special song to celebrate Hull UK City of Culture 2017

To the tune of 'Auld Lang Syne'!
To the tune of 'Auld Lang Syne', performed by the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Staff Choir.

Kofi's outtakes

Here's a few moments when things didn't go to plan for our Face of Hull...
Kofi Smiles has been brilliant as our Face of Hull for 2017 – but here's a few moments when things didn't go to plan...

'Feelgood factor' in Hull after City of Culture year

Businesses in Hull have told the BBC that the City of Culture 2017 title has made companies more willing to invest in the area.

City of Culture celebrations

Some say they've seen a direct boost from the culture title, with city centre hotels saying there's been a 9% rise in occupancy.

Hull having a good profile and a worldwide profile actually comes back directly to their [businesses'] bottom line. We attract people to live here and work here, we retain more people from the university in the city. It all adds up to a feelgood factor."

Mark JonesDirector of Regeneration, Hull City Council

City of Culture verdict: Title has brought pride to Hull

The man in charge of Hull's year as City of Culture says the boost to the city's pride is more important than the one it's given its finances.

Martin Green

Visitors have brought at least £60m into Hull, according to Hull 2017 officials, and the city has been promised an extra £9m from Arts Council England.

But Director of Hull 2017, Martin Green (pictured), says the biggest achievement can't be measured:

It's the thing which is not quantifiable which is about pride and confidence. Yes, we can point to bricks and mortar, we can point to the new venue the council put in, we can point to all these statistics. But, actually, it's about the heads up, shoulders back, my city pride that this year has produced."

Martin GreenDirector, Hull 2017

Defeated areas call for legacy from city of culture bids

Allen Cook

BBC News

A Stoke-on-Trent MP's written a letter to the government asking for help to build on the legacy of bids to become UK's City of Culture for 2021.

Coventry won the accolade earlier this month over challenges from Swansea, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland.

Portrait of photos which was part of Stoke-on-Trent's bid
Helen Marshall

Now, the Stoke Central Labour MP Gareth Snell's written a letter to the Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, signed by himself and MPs from the other communities which missed out on the title.

In it, they ask to meet with the government to discuss ways to build a "lasting legacy" from their own bids, saying their plans could "still be transformative for our local areas".

Highlights of Hull 2017

Kofi Smiles talks about his favourite moments in the UK City of Culture.
So much has happened in the past 12 months. Here's Kofi Smiles with some of his favourite moments.