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Coventry – The home of Warwick Conferences named UK City of Culture 2021

Warwick Conferences is celebrating a significant win for its home city of Coventry after the city was named ‘UK City of Culture 2021’. Warwick Conferences is the conference, meetings and events venue based at the University of Warwick, a principal partner of Coventry’s bid.

Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council, said:

"Coventry’s UK City of Culture bid is built on robust evidence and shows the scale of the step change that winning the title would bring to such a diverse city.”

The win is set to welcome £80 million investment into the region.

The University supported the bid, leading on research and programming, with further significant resources contributed to supporting the marketing, communications, fundraising and education aspects of the submission.

This achievement will create opportunities for Warwick Conferences to contribute to the 2021 activity, such as hosting cultural conferences as well as supporting destination and tourism aims.

Discover what Warwick Conferences contributes to the region.

Creative and innovative approach

Richard Harrison, Director of Warwick Conferences said:

“We’re thrilled: Warwick Conferences already play a significant role in attracting the corporate pound to the city; last year we ran 17,500 events and saw 178,000 delegates pass through our conference centres and conference park.

However, we feel we’ll have so much more to contribute to the city’s positioning in the UK as we move forward and this win will also triumph our commitment to visitor experience and tourism to the city. We’re known for our creative and innovative approach but not many people know that we’re also a charitable organisation and CSR sits at the absolute heart of what we do in so many ways; from our commitment to being a good employer, our close work with the soil association and sustainability programmes, to our reinvestment of all of our profits into our local community outreach programmes, campus development and academic research – fitting closely with core themes of the bid itself.”

Skills, expertise and experience

The 2021 Coventry bid also had a primary focus on the city’s people. Harrison continues:

“At Warwick Conferences, we take conscientious employment seriously – we directly employ staff from local areas and we pay them a living wage. We also work closely with local apprenticeship providers, schools and students at the University itself to support with inspiration programmes, pathways to employment and providing personal developmental opportunities. It is our objective to generate further skills, expertise and experience to support the development of the people of Coventry.”

Partner for growth

The University of Warwick is one of the Coventry’s largest employers. Professor Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor, said:

“We champion social, cultural and economic development in Coventry and we are proud to be a partner for growth. Welcoming over 150,000 delegates to the region during last summer, it is apparent how indispensable the facilities of Warwick Conferences will be in attracting visitors, particularly in the run up to 2021 and beyond. City of Culture is an astounding opportunity.

The business tourism this will create will be reflected in our further development of innovative, unique and modern meeting and event spaces on the Warwick campus. We are truly excited to show what value companies will get from bringing business to Coventry.”

Discover more:

Find out about the conference facilities and spaces available at Warwick Conferences.