HEREFORD will bid to be the UK “City of Culture” in 2021.                                              
The Courtyard and Herefordshire Council have today (Friday) confirmed a partnership to create a local consortium to make the bid.

Over the next few weeks  key local cultural organisations will be invited to join that consortium.

The UK City of Culture programme encourages the use of culture and creativity as a catalyst for change.

To prove its worth, the Hereford bid has to demonstrate the delivery of a high quality cultural programme that not only builds and expands on local strengths and assets  but reaches a “wide variety” of audiences over the course of the year.

The programme also has to show how  culture and creativity can lead to “lasting social regeneration” in contributing to related local agendas,  supporting cultural diversity and cohesion, and creating demonstrable economic impact through investment and innovation.

Courtyard chief executive Ian Archer will advise the consortium. He played a key part in the initial stages of the successful Hull 2017 application.

Roger Morgan, Chairman of The Courtyard Board, said that the bid built on the centre’s nationally acclaimed cross-generational work as to how the arts can enhance lives and lifestyles.

“We believe that by bringing together all the major cultural organisations in the county we can extend this to bring an improved quality of life to the county as a whole,” he said.

Cllr Harry Bramer, Herefordshire Council cabinet member for cultural services, said the county brought “ an amazing cultural history and a vibrant and diverse contemporary cultural scene” to the bid.

" We have visual artists, craftspeople, musicians, performers, storytellers, historians, broadcasters, blacksmiths, photographers, designers, film-makers, writers, poets, dancers, developers, actors and directors. The council is committed to working with individuals, communities and organisations to do more for themselves and their local area,” said Cllr Bramer.

“I am really excited by the prospect of working with The Courtyard and the widest range of other organisations to take this forward. I am absolutely convinced that we have the skills locally to pull together a winning bid,” he said