New major contributions to City of Culture 2021

Two major grant-makers have pledged a combined £1.5 million to Coventry 2021, plus a leading training provider has solidified their backing.

Two people looking at Coventry City of Culture Paper Peace exhibition project

Pictured: the Coventry City of Culture Paper Peace exhibition on the University of Warwick campus.

This week, two of the UK’s most generous grant-makers have combined pledged £1.5 million to back Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has awarded £500,000 to the Coventry City of Culture Trust to support its Caring City and Collaborative City teams’ programmes next year.

Their funding will support the Coventry City of Culture Trust’s work in achieving a range of positive outcomes in 2021 and beyond, including community-led production and programming to increase cultural participation across the city.

In addition, Spirit of 2012 – the London 2012 legacy fund – awarded a £1 million grant to facilitate a programme of cultural activities, working with community organisations across the city. 

This grant will continue the work of the Caring City team within the Trust, which since Spring 2019 has embedded associate producers into four community organisations to develop and deliver community arts projects with more than 80,000 participants and audience members in 2021.

Those projects will aim to increase individual wellbeing; empower people to contribute creatively to their communities; reduce isolation; and cultivate civic pride and belonging.

Martin Sutherland, chief executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, commented: “We are incredibly grateful for this support and proud to be continuing our partnership”.

“This funding directly supports our work with four fantastic partners and their communities across the city, enabling us to deliver our promise to leave a lasting and positive impact.”

A leading training and education company, which is rooted in Coventry, has also thrown its support behind Coventry 2021 this week.

PET-Xi, who has supported more than 200,000 learners over the past two-and-a-half decades, is supporting the Coventry City of Culture Trust as a City Champion.

Their financial support will help the Trust to deliver an ambitious programme of events and activities across the city as well as leaving a lasting legacy of change for Coventry.

Fleur Sexton DL of PET-Xi said: “I am a passionate supporter and ambassador for Coventry, and we have been right behind City of Culture from the beginning. 

“We are very excited to become a City Champion and to be giving our support to what will be a superb programme of events that will showcase Coventry in a wonderful light and will leave a lasting legacy – particularly for our young people.”