The money – from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – will be used to run activities with ‘enhanced Covid-19 safety and hygiene methods’, as well as enabling the live streaming of events so audiences can watch at home.
It takes the total amount of government funding for Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture to over £18.5 million, which includes £8.5 million of capital funding for heritage and cultural organisations including the Daimler Powerhouse, FarGo Box, Belgrade Theatre, Drapers Hall, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, and Coventry Cathedral.
The national Cultural Investment Fund provided £6.58 million to the Coventry City of Culture Trust for resource and legacy projects, including a new digital art gallery, and in addition Arts Council England has allocated £4.9 million in support money.
Meanwhile £8.8 million of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has been awarded to 28 organisations in Coventry to help them survive the pandemic.
Martin Sutherland, chief executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This funding will help us to deliver our promises to Coventry and to the visitors we hope to welcome soon, starting with a Summer of Surprises. We are excited to share the extraordinary creativity from Coventry and explore new ways to use digital platforms and broadcast channels to reach new audiences both in person and at home.
“It’s been an incredibly challenging 12 months for the sector; this new funding enables us to support the organisations, artists, freelancers and communities who are so key to delivering a safe, secure and exciting year for the city.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Coventry has demonstrated a remarkable resilience and ability to adapt during these challenging and unprecedented times. Now more than ever, it is vitally important that we bring our communities together through culture, arts and heritage.
“This additional funding will help the city as it begins its exciting year of celebrations for UK City of Culture and I look forward to seeing how the next 12 months will benefit the local area as we build back better from the impact of Covid.”
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 will start on May 15, lasting for 12 months with a 365-day cultural programme.
The opening event, Coventry Moves, will reflect the city’s reputation as the place ‘where movement began’, starting with its innovation in the transport industry.
The winners of the Booker Prize and Turner Prize will both be announced in Coventry this year too.
Coventry is the third UK City of Culture, an honour taken up by a different destination every four years. Derry-Londonderry was the first city to take up the mantle in 2013, followed by Hull in 2017.