Why shouldn't Hull be UK City of Culture?
FROM cream-coloured phone boxes and giant plastic toads to free museums and the Adelphi's Musicians' Night, the culture of Hull means many things to many people.
Now council officials are attempting to bottle all those varied ingredients and more to brew up a winning bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2017.
Sounds far-fetched? Try telling that to the people of Derry in Northern Ireland.
Once known for the civil riots in and around its notorious Bogside estate in the late 1960s, Derry is this year's inaugural UK City of Culture.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
As such, the city is expecting to play host to thousands of new visitors from across the world, bringing with them the spending power to significantly boost the local economy.
The city is hosting a £16m programme of events designed to cater for every cultural taste.
"We want to take culture out on to the streets, to make it accessible to as many people as possible," said the executive programmer Graeme Farrow.
"People will have moments that they will never ever forget."
His words echo the ambitions of Councillor Steve Bayes, Hull's portfolio holder for economic regeneration and employment.
He is providing the political lead on Hull's bid which has this week been confirmed among ten others by the Department for Culture and Media (DCMS).
"Why are we bidding? Well, why shouldn't we be?" said Cllr Bayes.
"Going for this is part of what the new City Plan is all about.
"We believe the city's cultural offer is something we can help develop into something special, bringing new investment and jobs with it.
"We have seen we can stage successful events in Hull, whether it's the Freedom Festival or exhibitions featuring big name artists such as Warhol and Da Vinci.
"Putting in a bid to the UK City of Culture in 2017 really is an extension of that, building on what we are already doing and giving us a chance to put Hull on the national and international stage as a cultural destination."
While the bulk of funding for Derry's programme of events is being provided by the Northern Ireland Executive, he accepts additional Government funding for a successful Hull bid is unlikely.
"There probably won't be any extra money from the Government but there are other funding opportunities available, including the Arts Council and the Lottery," he said.
Although an initial bid is due to be lodged with the DCMS by the end of April, a more detailed submission will follow if Hull makes it onto a shortlist due to be announced in June. Although still only an idea at this stage, the bid is expected to include a proposed new visual arts centre which has been earmarked for the Fruit Market area.
Cllr Bayes confirmed the council was still hopeful of persuading East Yorkshire-based artist David Hockney to play a leading role in the project.
"We are putting together detailed proposals for him to look at to see whether it appeals to him.
"The problem is that he is still a very busy man and tends to abroad for long periods of time.
"We are looking for a good time to sit down with him and go through things in some depth.
"Until then, we don't know whether he will commit or not but it is still our intention to develop a major arts centre which will draw visitors from around the world."
"Having said that, it is not just about big events or brand new buildings.
"There are all sorts of good things going on in Hull at the moment.
"The work of Hull Truck is known across the country while the development of the Fruit Market as an arts quarter for small businesses to operate it shows another side of what Hull is all about.
"We will be drawing all those together to make our bid as strong as we can possibly make it."
Hull is the only Yorkshire city in the running for the 2017 title.
It is also the only city in the North-East to have lodged a bid.
Other cities competing for inclusion on th shortlist include Aberdeen and Dundee in Scotland, Leicester, Plymouth, Chester and Southend.
Strong competition is also expected from a joint bid from Portsmouth and Southampton while five towns have also submitted a joint bid under the title of East Kent.
The initial bids will be whittled down to a shortlist by an advisory panel chaired by TV writer Phil Redmond, who was the creative director of Liverpool's year as European City of Culture in 2008.
He said: "The UK City of Culture can be a real catalyst for change and I'm delighted so many places have registered their interest in the competition for 2017.
"Together with the panel, I am looking forward to receiving some ambitious and dynamic bids that highlight the very best of local cultural talent, along with delivering a realistic programme that will appeal to as wide an audience as possible."