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Team behind Hull 2017 to continue in business

Installation by artist Zolst Balogh in Queen Victoria Square, part of the Made in Hull series marking the official opening of Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture.

The organisation set up to deliver Hull UK City of Culture 2017 will carry on as a permanent national arts company based in the city. The brand name for the culture company is yet to be announced.

Building on the success of Hull 2017, the culture company will continue to commissioning world-class arts aimed at residents and visitors.

Live outdoor events will play a key role for the new business model, and the team has committed to work strategically with partners inside the city and across the UK to cement Hull’s reputation as a centre for culture and creativity.

Martin Green, director of Hull 2017, explained: “We want to capitalise on the knowledge and expertise gained as culture company, supporting city efforts to help ensure a lasting cultural legacy for Hull, as well as helping to embed culture into policymaking for cities.

“The acknowledged success of Hull being UK City of Culture is the result of many partners, organisationally and individually coming together and this collective energy will remain critical to ensuring a meaningful cultural legacy. Over the next weeks and months we will be embarking on conversations with people across the city to inform the development of the company and its work.”

Live events for the city

The organisation will develop a 20-year legacy plan across three phases, as set out in Hull City Council’s Cultural Strategy, supporting the delivery of the city’s £250 million legacy plan to improve Hull’s culture and visitor infrastructure.

Stepping into 2018 is “Where Do We Go from Here?”. The new outdoor event will run from 1 December to 7 January 2018 featuring a choreographed robotic light installation by award-winning art collective Jason Bruges Studio.

The event will use a specially choreographed interplay of light, shadow and sound to guide people through Hull’s Old Town. It will encourage people to explore the city’s streets at night as dormant robots awaken, responding to the city’s architecture, interacting with one another and with Hull’s residents and visitors.

Where Do We Go from Here? helps kick offs Substance, a series of events, installations and provocations taking place in the first week of December celebrating and reflecting on Hull and the north as a cultural powerhouse for the nation. More details about Substance will be announced shortly.

Render: New event Where Do We Go from Here? to open from 1 December-7 January 2018

 Business plan

The team behind the culture company has also revealed details of its business plan moving forward.

Phase one will take the company to the end of 2020 when Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture concludes and it hands over to the next city.

During this phase the company will capitalise on the impact that Hull 2017 has already had on the city, including:

  • Developing a cultural programme ranging from high quality annual events to public art, as well as celebrating the city’s heritage;
  • Working alongside Hull City Council, Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme, the city’s cultural community and other partners to ensure Hull continues to grow as a place for artists to live and to work;
  • Following the success of Hull 2017 projects such as Land of Green Ginger and Back to Ours it will commission high-quality work that goes into communities;
  • Harness the knowledge, energy and enthusiasm of the 3,000 Hull 2017 volunteers to support events and become community activists across the city;
  • Develop the Hull 2017 learning programme to ensure that culture remains central to the lives of children and young people living in the city.

Events for 2018

The event programme has already started to take shape. James Graham’s play The Culture: A Farce in Two Acts, which will premiere at Hull Truck Theatre in 2018, has already been confirmed, whilst the popular Back to Ours festival is also set to return next year. Other programme announcements will be made in 2018.

Phase two, across ten years, will see the company develop its activities as a strategic cultural agency based in Hull, with a remit that encompasses the city, the North and the UK.

Recruitment has begun to appoint an executive director and programme director, which will report to a new board of trustees and build a smaller company that will deliver on the new vision for the organisation. It is hoped that appointments will be made by the end of the year.

The company has also said that over the next few weeks and months the public will have the opportunity to have their say on creating a cultural legacy for Hull.