Humberside

What being UK's City of Culture means for Hull

Guildhall in Hull Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hull's year as City of Culture will begin with a week of activities marking the city's history

As the schedule of events for Hull's year as City of Culture are announced, BBC News looks at what the title means for the city, and what is has to offer.

Hull succeeds Derry/Londonderry as the UK's City of Culture, after beating Leicester, Dundee and Swansea Bay for the rights to the 2017 title.

Officials have described winning the title as a "real game-changer", and the "beginning of a cultural renaissance".

Hull council leader Stephen Brady said: "It will give Hull a platform to tell the world what this great city has to offer, transform perceptions and accelerate our journey to make Hull a prime visitor destination."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The city already hosts a number of cultural and artistic events - but those involved with City of Culture said it will help promote Hull to a wider audience

Abigail McIntosh, who went to university in Hull, published photos of the city on Buzzfeed in response to the negative image the city sometimes attracts.

It is jokingly titled 29 Things That Prove You Should Never, Ever Go To Hull.

She said: "When I applied to Hull, and received an offer, I was apprehensive because I had only ever really seen bad things about Hull in the press."

Ms McIntosh said she hoped events would help change people's attitudes.

Image copyright Buzzfeed
Image caption Abi McIntosh said she published positive pictures of Hull on Buzzfeed to showcase what the city has to offer
Image copyright Hull City Council
Image caption The city is known for its Freedom Festival and Picnic in the Park events
Image copyright Neil Holmes Photography
Image caption It has a rich heritage connected to the fishing industry
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption One of the most famous people to come from Hull was William Wilberforce, who fought for the abolition of slavery
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Officials want to get UNESCO World Heritage site status for Hull's Old Town
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hull is the only UK city with its own independent telephone network company, known for its cream-coloured telephone boxes

The first event of the year will be an installation across the city, telling the story of the last 70 years of Hull, accompanied by a fireworks display to "rival London's New Year's Eve celebrations", officials said.

A "musical Humber Bridge", an art work featuring thousands of naked, painted people on the streets of Hull are part of the £32m programme taking place in 2017.

Made In Hull will be free and will run every night from 1-7 January.

Image copyright Danny Lawson/PA
Image caption Images from when thousands of people stripped naked to be photographed in the city's streets by Spencer Tunick will form part of an exhibition

Deborah Stevenson, who regularly posts about the city on social media, said: "I think Hull needed this, it was down and out and at the end of the line.

"We have the history of the city, but to be able to build the tourism we need to celebrate it more."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Hull's Amy Johnson was a pioneering pilot who flew alone from Britain to Australia in 1930
Image copyright Thomas Arran
Image caption The city also has a number of established tourist attractions, including The Deep aquarium, which is home to 3,500 fish including sharks and rays

In the run-up to 2017, locals have faced traffic misery while improvement work takes place.

People have been asked to open up their houses to accommodate visitors, due to a shortage of hotel beds.

But Mr Brady said what was planned would "improve the lives and opportunities of everyone who lives, works, visits and invests here".

"For Hull, 2017 is just the beginning," he said.


A view from Derry/Londonderry. Elaine McGee, senior broadcast journalist with BBC Radio Foyle

Image copyright Getty Images

2013 was a year Derry will never forget. From BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend to the Turner Prize, the eyes of the world were on Derry and it certainly felt there was a new confidence to the city and its people.

Three years on though, our listeners have have been left asking what do we really have to show for it? Legacy funding dried up in 2015, with city of culture community projects, which were such a success, suffering.

The advice to Hull would be enjoy every second of your title year, but keep in mind what you want to have to show for it once the party is over.


More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites