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People of Hull tell Swansea residents why they should back the bid

The people of Hull, the current holders of the UK City of Culture title, have told Swansea residents they have everything to gain by backing the bid - and a win would bring prosperity and prompt them to see their city in a brand new light.

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Hull residents told Swansea 2021 film-makers that their own UK City of Culture win rejuvenated the city and gave them, as residents, a real sense of pride. Even those who were critical of the bid at first have admitted they can now see the massive impact it's had on them and their city. They are now are urging Swansea residents to realise the potential of winning UK City of Culture and to really back the city's bid for the 2021 title.

The Hull residents were asked how the win had affected the city, how it had changed their attitudes and how it had prompted them to get involved in the hundreds of events and offerings on hand to them thanks to the UK City of Culture win.

The responses were universally positive. One resident said: "It's made a tremendous difference - it's brought a lot of people to the city. The city centre really has been regenerated."  "It's brought a lot of prosperity to the city," said another, whilst someone else commented: "I have seen Hull through a new pair of eyes since all of this began." The last word was left to a young man who said: "I didn't think much of it at first, I just thought nothing would really happen - but a lot has!"

The comments chime with a study by the University of Hull's Culture, Place and Policy Institute (CPPI) for the first three months of the year which shows overwhelming evidence of the hugely positive effect the City of Culture is having on Hull. Nine out of ten residents have visited a cultural event - more than double the number of people visiting events previously. At least 450 events, exhibitions and cultural activities took place during the first three months, attracting over 1.4 million visits, with many drawing large, often sell-out crowds. As a result the city has enjoyed an impressive economic boost, with businesses reporting a significant increase in footfall and revenue.

Other findings from the study reveal that being UK City of Culture is bringing a feelgood factor and increase in confidence to the city. Seven out of ten local people agree that the UK City of Culture year is having a positive effect on their lives because of the opportunities it has offered to residents to get involved, either through volunteering at the hundreds of events on offer, or through attending them as spectators.

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said: "We are growing accustomed to highlighting the very positive figures around the UK City of Culture cities, which illustrate the very important economic benefits to local hotels, restaurants, theatres and other hospitality businesses, transport providers and other sectors. And of course, these are all very valuable - and they give us a sense of the economic boost Swansea could expect upon a UK City of Culture win.

"But it is very pleasing to hear from the man and woman in the street - particularly from those who may not put cultural activities at the top of their 'to do ' lists - talking about how the UK City of Culture win has piqued their interest in their city and its culture, has prompted them to get involved and has made them feel more positive than ever before about their home city and the way it is perceived. This is something you cannot put a price on and it is an important re-calibration that is very hard to achieve without a major happening like a UK City of Culture win.

"I am grateful to the people of Hull for sharing their experiences with us and for helping to motivate us here in Swansea to get behind our own Swansea 2021 bid. We really do have so much to gain - from an increase in pride and profile to improving our local economy."

To back the bid, follow 'Swansea2021' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and get involved in the conversation by using the hashtag #Swansea2021


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