Building a Bid: Hull 2017 UK City of Culture programme

Campaign Strategy and Bid Writing

After centuries as one of Britain’s most maligned cities, 20 November 2013 was the day when Hull finally turned the tide by beating Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay in the UK City of Culture 2017 contest.

Much of DHA’s work with the arts and cultural sector has focused on the relationship between place and cultural activity. In 2010 DHA worked with two cities (Hull for their initial bid, Norwich for their final bid) to support them in the first ever UK City of Culture bidding process, working within cross-city teams to respond to the policy opportunity, assemble their evidence base and build a credible programme.

In Hull, DHA worked with stakeholders from across the city and East Yorkshire to write, design and produce their initial bid to be UK City of Culture 2013. With a steering group from Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Visit Hull and East Yorkshire and Hull’s economic development company, DHA engaged a wider group of stakeholders across the city region across cultural, educational, health, regeneration and business sectors. Our work involved establishing impact baselines and projections for tourism, social and economic impacts, funding feasibility and the development of a shared vision and programme.

Following the initial bid, DHA were asked to undertake a mapping and assessment exercise, looking at the existing cultural offer and the opportunities and challenges for developing it to enable the area to improve its current delivery and its future competitiveness. Hull and East Yorkshire are continuing to collaborate closely following their bidding experience.

In 2013, DHA worked again with Hull City Council to co-author and develop their successful bid, for Hull to be the 2017 UK City of Culture. 

DHA has also worked with a range of clients supporting them in building civic confidence and developing a shared narrative and sense of vision, in many cases using culture to articulate that vision. We have worked with organisations and partnerships including Living Places (through MLA), Burnley Borough Council,Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium (LARC), theAcademy ofSustainable Communities, Elevate East Lancs, Oldham Rochdale Housing Market Renewal, the Hope Street group, Southwark Council and the Elephant and Castle Cultural Quarter Steering Group.

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