Hull has ‘raised the bar’ for a 2021 successor, according UK City of Culture Independent Advisory Panel Chairman Phil Redmond with an estimated 1.4 million people attending cultural events in first three months of 2017. As the shortlist for the five places which could win the accolade for 2021 is announced, now is the time to take notes.
From orbiting earth, as the local dish was launched into space, to the depths of the ocean, as a sea of naked residents not just blue with cold, but also covered head to toe in body paint, posed for an iconic Spencer Tunick installation, the city and its people have embraced its designation as UK City of Culture.
This is already demonstrating a positive impact to the city both in terms of sentiment and engagement from locals, but also to the economy with hotel and transport figures increasing every month, according to a study from the University of Hull.
One of the things that has helped make Hull stand out and create such a buzz and engagement right across the city and beyond, has been putting 27 year-old Phil Batty at the reins of marketing the programme. The director of marketing, communities and legacy for Hull UK City of Culture 2017, The Drum notes that his approach while not based on years of experience has been borne from an understanding of what resonates with people. From the effective straplines such as ’Everyone back to ours’ and combining a clever digital and more traditional approach has allowed a far greater reach to a wide audience. Batty himself says the one of the most vital elements in making the programme work and positive engagement more meaningful is through the workforce of 4000 volunteers who continue to support it on a daily basis.