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  1. ITV Report

Hull's year as City of Culture will leave 'lasting legacy' for North and the UK

As UK City of Culture for 2017, Hull will launch its 10-year strategy for the arts. Credit: Hull2017

It may have been an unlikely choice for the UK City of Culture for 2017, but Hull is promising a year-long programme of events that will leave a lasting legacy for the region and the UK as a whole.

With 100 days to go until the launch of Hull 2017, the city is preparing to announce the artistic programme for first three months of the celebration.

Festivities will begin with a massive fireworks display over the Humber on the evening of January 1, which organisers say will be even more spectacular than the New Year's Eve show in London the night before.

They say this will herald a week-long installation across the city, telling the story of the last 70 years of Hull.

Alongside the main artistic programme, the council is launching a 10-year Cultural Strategy which it says will secure a lasting legacy from Hull 2017.

Hull has embraced its status with a range of artistic projects, including the Place des Anges spectacle, in the run up to 2017. Credit: PA

The strategy includes plans to make Hull Old Town a Unesco World Heritage site and a £30 million funding bid for projects relating to its role as Yorkshire's maritime city.

Council leader Stephen Brady said: "November 20 2013 - the day Hull won UK City of Culture status - was hailed by many as the day that Hull changed forever, and this is certainly coming true.

"Our Cultural Strategy demonstrates our long-term commitment to harnessing one of Hull's greatest assets not just to change our city, but to improve the lives and opportunities of everyone who lives, works, visits and invests here. For Hull, 2017 is just the beginning."

Hull was named City of Culture in 2013 amid some surprise, from a shortlist that also included Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay.

Artist Spencer Tunick invited thousands to take part in his photography project in Hull. Credit: PA

More than £1 billion of investment has flowed into the city in the last three years, including £100 million of capital investment in the cultural and visitor infrastructure.

The second city to be given the City of Culture status, following Derry-Londonderry, it has embraced the status with a range of related events.

US artist Spencer Tunick generated worldwide attention in July when he invited thousands of people to pose naked painted blue for photographs around Hull's landmarks.

Michelle Dickson of Arts Council England said 2017 will be the beginning of a "cultural renaissance in the city".