14,000 local businesses invited to help Medway’s UK City of Culture bid achieve millions in investment.

We are calling on our vibrant business community to get inspired and get involved with Medway’s bid.

Innovation Centre, Medway

Winning the bid will have a transformative effect on the area – when Hull hosted UK City of Culture in 2017, 95% of people living in the city attended at least one event – with a total of 5.3 million audience members throughout the year. Becoming UK City of Culture led to the creation of nearly 800 jobs, as well as an ongoing feelgood factor for the area.

Coventry is UK City of Culture this year and recently told Parliament that they expect hosting the year-long event will be worth £1.3 billion in economic value to the West Midlands.

Bid Director Imogen Robertson highlights that its “Medway’s equivalent to London’s Olympic bid – a moment which will deliver long-lasting change, and not just to Medway, but across surrounding Kent”.

Medway will have to see off competition from Southampton, Lancashire and Bradford for the chance to be recognised as the UK’s first City of Culture in the South East.

Now the bid’s stakeholders are calling on the region’s business communities to get involved and become a Business Ambassador for our bid. They are invited to show their support by taking part in sector-specific conversations to develop Medway’s bid

Businesses that take part in the ambassador initiative will see an array of benefits – gaining automatic access to the successful Medway Champions Network, run by the Medway Place Board, which offers excellent networking events. Participants will also enjoy favourable sponsorship and promotion opportunities.

Deborah Turner

Deborah Turner, Medway 2025 Trustee, local business owner and South East Policy Lead for the Federation of Small Businesses, comments, “We are calling on businesses across Medway and Kent to seize the chance to be a part of a historic moment for the area. Winning this competition would bring the UK City of Culture title to the South East for the very first time and will result in major growth across Medway. Becoming a Business Ambassador will allow organisations to demonstrate their commitment to social value and play an active role in Medway’s bid.”

Hull’s experience shows that the benefits of winning the title can be huge. One in four businesses took on new staff during Hull’s year as UK City of Culture, and a gigantic £3.4 Billion of combined public and private investment went into the city in the four years running up to it.

And it’s not just the arts that benefit. Participation in sports and physical activities rose by 52% and hotel bookings rose by 10% and have kept on growing. Winning the title leads to opportunities for businesses in all sectors.

David Ward

Respected local businessman David Ward notes, “I think it’s a brilliant idea – you don’t have to be an arty type to get involved but you can see what an electrifying effect it had on Hull, and the idea that business here could have a piece of that kind of impact is a no brainer. I urge anyone in business here and across Kent to get involved”

Rob Smith

The campaign is also being wholeheartedly supported by ex-BBC news presenter Rob Smith, who says “I’ve lived in Medway for over 20 years – it’s a great place to live, and too often only makes the headlines for the wrong reasons. This is a chance to really show the world how many talented and exciting people there are here already and to turbocharge the arts scene with literally millions of pounds of investment. What’s not to like?”

The bid already has the support of the Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and the both the University of Kent and the University of Greenwich. 

Coventry’s year as the UK City of Culture began on 15th May and the winner for 2025 will be announced in 2022.

If you want to show your support, and back the bid as a Business Ambassador, simply head to the webpage: www.medway2025.co.uk/business

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