Rugby MP backs Coventry’s culture campaign

Mark Pawsey with chair of the City of Culture Trust David Burbidge NNL-170123-113321001
Mark Pawsey with chair of the City of Culture Trust David Burbidge NNL-170123-113321001

It’s a chance to show there’s more to Coventry than the ring road – and Rugby’s MP is backing our near neighbour’s bid for cultural glory.

The race to find the UK’s City of Culture 2021 was launched by Culture Minister Matt Hancock last week in Hull, which holds the title this year.

And Mark Pawsey has backed Coventry’s bid, believing Rugby will benefit if it is successful.

He joined MPs from all parties representing seats in the West Midlands to show their support.

The process for bidding for 2021 was announced last week but the Coventry City of Culture Trust has been preparing its bid for more than a year.

And it has quickly made a showing in the betting with Ladbrokes placing it second to Perth and ahead of Cardiff, Paisley and Sunderland.

Mr Pawsey said: “Rugby has historically had very close links with Coventry, with many Rugby residents travelling to Coventry to work or for leisure.

“In Rugby we have recently seen the opening of the World Rugby Hall of Fame, which has already proved a great attraction for tourists.

“If Coventry was selected as the UK’s City of Culture, Rugby’s close connections and rich history will make it ideal an ideal destination for visitors coming to see the historic sights in Coventry and our local economy here in Rugby would stand to benefit.”

“I was very pleased to join fellow MPs from across Warwickshire and the West Midlands supporting Coventry’s bid. It would bring millions to the local economy and help to put the West Midlands well and truly on the map.”

Chair of the City of Culture Trust David Burbidge added: “Coventry has moved people by car, by jet plane and bicycle over the years and continues to do so through culture.

“We have learned much about what the city has to offer during the past 12 months but also the many issues we believe City of Culture can help to tackle. Winning would bring so many benefits to the city and the West Midlands.”