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The news that Nottingham is to bid fto become European Capital of Culture for 2023 is great for the city and wider East Midlands region. If successful it will follow in the footsteps of Glasgow (1990) and Liverpool (2008) as the only other British cities to have held the title since the concept was first developed in the mid-eighties.
Originally designed to allow cities to showcase their local and national heritage, the scheme had the wider effect of promoting both the shared values and cultural diversity of Europe. Subsequent studies have shown that there are tangible benefits to becoming European Capital of Culture with the award serving as a catalyst for economic regeneration and social and cultural development. Both Liverpool and Glasgow have been beneficiaries of this along with increased levels of tourism and a higher profile on the world stage.
Nottingham is a city that has always boasted a strong creative side to complement its rich manufacturing heritage. The Creative Quarter, Nottingham’s ‘flagship project for economic growth and entrepreneurial spirit’ (according to Invest Nottingham) is at the heart of the city’s growth plan. Centred on the Lace Market (one of Nottingham’s most historic and architecturally attractive areas) the project includes companies from traditionally creative industries - design, digital, advertising, clothing, marketing, gaming etc - but also encompasses firms at the cutting edge of research into bio-science, carbon capture, renewable energy and clean technology.
A large student population helps keep the city a vibrant place to live and it boasts many successful cultural venues; from large arenas that attract major music and comedy stars, highly acclaimed theatres, numerous intimate music venues and comedy clubs, football teams in Nottingham Forest and Notts County, Trent Bridge cricket ground, the National water sports centre, the largest community indoor tennis centre in the UK, the National Ice arena. It has a network of caves beneath the city and, lest we forget, the most iconic of all outlaws - Robin Hood himself.
The awarding of the European City of Culture title would bring much deserved recognition and pride to the city. The economic and cultural benefits would be felt across the East Midlands region which can only be good news for local companies such as ours and our same day couriers that live and work in the Nottingham area. We should all take up the City Council’s call for us to become ‘cultural lions’!