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Regeneration tops agenda for City of Culture

The newly-appointed Chief Executive of the 2017 City of Culture company will tell business leaders that a legacy of regeneration is "top of the agenda" for Hull's year as the UK's cultural capital.

Martin Green, 2017 City of Culture Chief Executive Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Martin Green takes up his new role on October 1, but before then he will address the region's business community, alongside Hull: UK City of Culture 2017 Chair Rosie Millard, at a Bondholders breakfast this morning to mark the start of Freedom Festival, Hull's premier artistic and cultural event.

Rosie Millard, City of Culture 2017 Chair Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Mr Green, whose impressive track record includes being Head of Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said major events such as the Olympics, Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were a powerful tool for regenerating cities and communities and transforming their image.

People are mistaken if they think that London had it all already. We got the Olympics not because we just wanted to put on the Games, but because we wanted to regenerate east London.

"In the five years I worked for London I was able to see that area physically change in front of me. The change in Stratford is sensational and that is all because we put a cultural event on.

"I am really glad to say we put that cultural event on really well, so it also had legacy in terms of memories, pride in the country and belief in ourselves that we can deliver."

"I believe we can do the same with Hull. The scale may be different, but the principles are the same - staging cultural events, bringing people into city centres, putting on things that people want to come and see and while they come and see them, they eat and they drink and they stay.

"It also builds the reputation of the place, so you get people saying 'I want to live in the city now' or 'they've clearly got a lot of creative people in that place, we should put one of our offices there'.

"It's all about changing misconceptions - it's often no deeper than that. If you can build on the pride people have for Hull it really changes how the city feels about itself and how it represents itself to the outside world.

"The legacy impact and regenerative impact is top of the agenda, because that is how we look at culture and delivering great events.

"Art for art's sake won't cut it. That doesn't mean you put on loads of boring stuff. What we will put on will be new, exciting, relevant, diverse and of great artistic worth, but we will always be looking at what we're doing within the agenda of what we've got to deliver before and, most importantly, after the year."

– Martin Green

The Bondholders is a fast-growing, private-sector led group of more than 230 member companies and other organisations that act as ambassadors for Hull and the Humber to encourage investment and job creation. The regular Bondholders breakfast events bring these ambassadors together to gain insight into new initiatives and developments within the region.

At the Freedom Festival Bondholders breakfast Mr Green will also urge local businesses to "join in" and invest in supporting the cultural programme.

We want to see a galvanised, proactive business community, which already exists in Hull, saying 'we don't need anybody's help to do what we need to do, we just need a hook to hang our investment on'. "The City of Culture company is going to give you 365 days of culture to hang your business strategies and plans upon. Engage and be proactive with us and everyone will benefit".

– Martin Green

The focus on legacy from 2017 will be underlined by Rosie Millard.

City of Culture needs to improve jobs and futures in Hull; and it needs to change perceptions of Hull.

"We will be generating work from within the city that is genuinely jaw-dropping and accessible and that can actually change lives and perceptions, just by exposure to it.

"Places can be transformed. There is a reason why City of Culture has come to Hull. City of Culture has regeneration qualities, which Hull needs."

– Rosie Millard

The Bondholders breakfast will be staged in the Big Top on the Freedom Festival site in Hull's Fruit Market. It will focus on how being UK City of Culture 2017 is acting as a catalyst for investment that will create a thriving environment for business.

Bondholders members will also hear from Hull City Council about how City of Culture is part of the overarching City Plan masterplan and details of specific projects such as improvements to Hull's public realm, plans for a major events and conference centre, and regeneration of the Fruit Market.

In addition, the meeting will showcase case studies of investment which are reviving Hull's waterfront and reinforcing its position as a focal point for Hull's creative community.

Grand Départ opening ceremony boss to mastermind Hull City of Culture

The man who masterminded the opening ceremony of the Tour de France Grand Départ is to be the Chief Executive of Hull's UK City of Culture.

Martin Green was also Head of Ceremonies for the London Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.

Green oversaw the opening ceremony of the Grand Départ in Yorkshire Credit: ITV4

From 2007 to 2012, he was Head of Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Overseeing a multi-million pound budget, he assembled the world-class team that delivered the truly spectacular ceremonies.

Green oversaw the opening ceremony of the Grand Départ in Yorkshire Credit: ITV 4

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Public invited to Hull City of Culture party

Hull is to host a UK City of Culture 2017 free public party event on Saturday, June 28, to thank people for their support during the city’s successful title bid last year.

With 919 days to go, the council says the event will celebrate and showcase Hull’s diverse cultural offerings and talent with various events and live performances.

The free event in Queen Victoria Square runs from 12 noon to 6.15pm.

City of Culture chair appointed

Writer and broadcaster Rosie Millard has been appointed as the chair of the company that will organise Hull's year as the UK City of Culture in 2017.

The 48 year-old mother-of-four, who graduated from the University of Hull in 1987, was unveiled at a news conference in the city this lunchtime.

The former TV arts correspondent was chosen following a nationwide search to fill the role:

Hull's City of Culture boss announced

Rosie Millard

Distinguished writer and broadcaster Rosie Millard has been appointed to lead Hull's UK City of Culture team for 2017.

Ms Millard, who has maintained a close link with the city since graduating from the University of Hull in 1987, will now take on the role of Chair of the culture company.

Today's announcement by Hull City Council follows a nationwide search to fill the role.

Hull City Council Leader Stephen Brady said:

"I would like to offer a very warm welcome and my congratulations to Rosie as she prepares to lead the team that will deliver Hull's vision for UK City of Culture 2017.

"Her outstanding track record working in the media, culture and the arts, together with her passion for the city, means she is ideally placed to help Hull take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that City of Culture status brings."

Ms Millard said:

"I arrived in Hull to study at the University over 30 years ago and in my heart, I have never left. It is an honour and a privilege to be asked to return to play a part in its renaissance.

"Hull now has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use culture and the arts to transform perceptions of the city and to change the lives of local people. As Chair of the culture company, I want to help Hull grasp this moment."

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Record figures for Hull museums

Hull Maritime Museum welcomed record visitors Credit: Press Association

Hull City Council says it has had record visitors to its musuems this half-term.

The Maritime Museum welcomed a record 1019 visitors through their doors on Monday alone.

Streetlife Museum recorded an increase in visitors, up 52% compared with the first day of last year's February half term holiday,

Officials believe being named City of Culture for 2017 has encouraged more people to visit the city.

Secrets behind Hull's City of Culture success revealed

The secrets behind Hull's successful UK City of Culture bid are being revealed to the public today at Hull University.

Press Association

The team responsible for the bid will describe how the idea of "Hullness" and the strong public support for the bid were key factors in their victory.

They now want to show people how the CIty of Culture will be funded, how they can volunteer - and why elephants will once again be seen walking the streets of Hull.

Councillor Steven Bayes, Portfolio Holder for Hull UK City of Culture 2017 said: “The strength of support that local people and business partners have given to our City of Culture bid has been fantastic.

“We have a lot to look forward to as we build on and develop Hull’s cultural offerings in the run-up to 2017. At these events, people can find out exactly how we won, what we are doing to deliver the title and what it will mean to them.”

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