City and cultural leaders have welcomed the publication of an independent evaluation of Hull’s year in the spotlight as UK City of Culture 2017, which confirms the continuing impact the title has had on the city.
The report, published by the University of Hull, says “the most significant impact of all” was an estimated £676m of new private and public investment that was generated for the city.
It also highlights the significant growth in tourism which has been sustained since 2017, and a transformation in perceptions of Hull.
The report also points to the continuing investment in cultural heritage, for example the successful Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City bid, and concludes that Hull UK City of Culture 2017 compares favourably with European Capitals of Culture, especially in generating pride amongst residents.
Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see the continuing success and impact of UK City of Culture set out in this report, but for residents and visitors who experienced the year this will come as no surprise. The quality of the programme, the support of the city and the impact it had on lives of local people was plain to see.
“It’s been a remarkable few years for Hull, during which we’ve seen perceptions of the city transformed and the huge investment that has flowed from that. Our eyes are now very much on the future and more exciting times ahead.
“As we look forward to celebrating our maritime heritage through the Hull, Yorkshire’s Maritime City project, we can be confident that the city and its people will continue to reap the benefits of 2017 for years to come.”
The report also highlights the importance of continuing development of cultural institutions and the cultural sector. Since 2017, arts organisations across the city, such as Absolutely Cultured and Back to Ours, have continued to develop the city’s cultural offer and build on the success of UK City of Culture.
Annual events such as Humber Street Sesh, Freedom Festival and Pride in Hull continue to grow, as do the offers of key local cultural institutions such as Hull Truck Theatre and Hull Culture and Leisure, which operates venues such as Ferens Art Gallery, Hull New Theatre and Hull Maritime Museum.