Growing support from backers, and news that the city will play host to the Turner Prize in 2017, have prompted more ambitious fundraising targets for the UK’s next City of Culture.
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The Hull 2017 team has announced that the city will host the Turner Prize awards during their year as UK City of Culture. The news comes on the same day that new Chief Executive of Arts Council England (ACE), Darren Henley, unveiled plans for a regional rebalancing of ACE funding in his inaugural speech at Hull’s Ferens Gallery, which is scheduled for a £4million upgrade in preparation for the year of activities. Hull has worked to establish itself as a cultural force since being awarded the City of Culture title in 2013, and Chief Executive of the 2017 team, Martin Green, labelled the successful bid to host the prize a “game changer” for international perceptions of the city.
In preparation for the year of activities, the fundraising target is now rising from £13.7m to £18m by 2016 – a goal made plausible by a series of partnerships with national organisations. A spokesperson from the campaign said that 60% of the £18m fundraising target was now either in place or committed, with backers including the University of Hull, the British Council, and the Spirit of 2012. The management team remain confident that their programme of activities – a four-season roster focusing on Hull’s legacy and its international significance – will encourage widespread participation and draw in additional financial support.