Coventry is a city of invention, regeneration and an international city of peace and reconciliation.

Coventry is a young, vibrant city with an experimental music scene, home to poets and artists and the centre of the UK's motor industry.

Coventry inspired the global twinned city movement, with 26 twinned relationships all over the world – from Kingston (Jamaica), to Dresden (Germany) and most recently, Jinan (China). It is a City of Sanctuary (part of the City of Sanctuary Network), which is a movement throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. It is part of the Migrant Friendly Cities Network and has taken more Syrian refugees than any other UK city.

We have made a minimum five-year commitment to Coventry to support international cultural exchange activity and continue the work of the city to reach out, learn and grow.

The UK’s City of Culture in 2021

Coventry's vision as the City of Culture 2021 is to focus on inclusion and diversity through programmes and events that encourage activism, civic participation and digital innovation.

Coventry's is using the City of Culture to improve sustainability, tourism and heritage and making the city an attractive place to live and work. The programme is supported by a vibrant cultural strategy and a wide portfolio of ambitious projects which are being spearheaded by the Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry City Council and other key partners, including the British Council.

The British Council and Coventry

The British Council is the International Partner for Coventry City of Culture 2021. As part of the partnership, we are working with the UK City of Culture Trust and many cultural and civic partners in the city to support a wide range of international connections. Some of this activity includes:

Research and Evidence

We are leading with research and evidence-based project work. The British Council commissioned research in 2017 into Coventry's international connections because this would form the basis of our strategy for working with Coventry towards and beyond 2021. As part of the city’s aims to be more connected and youthful, we are working with Youthful Cities to better understand how Coventry relates to Gen Z and Millennials.

We have also supported the indexing of three other international cities who embody these qualities of youthfulness, so Coventry can work in partnership with them to explore what being a youthful city means.

The cities are Bogota (Colombia), Beirut (Lebanon), Nairobi (Kenya) and Detroit (USA). All share the characteristics of youthfulness with Coventry as well as being cities where music is central, invention is everywhere and people are working to change their cities for the better.

International Changemakers Bursaries

In partnership with Coventry City of Culture, we have enabled 20 individual cultural and creative practitioners, including artists, activists, third sector professional sand community leaders across Coventry to travel overseas. The visits will support professional development, partnership building and research and development and include locations such as India, Ukraine, Bosnia, Mexico, Zambia, Serbia and many others.

Rising 19 Global Peace Forum

The British Council contributed to the Rising 19 Global Peace Forum panel on The Role of Traditional Justice in Post-Conflict Community Building, using case studies from the British Councils’ work in Nigeria.

Rising Global Peace Forum is led by the Centre for Peace, Trust and Social Relations at Coventry University in a unique partnership with Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City Council.

For more information on our work in Coventry, please contact us.

See also

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