Don’t mock it, Hull is UK City of Culture 2017. Plan a visit and see what all the fuss is about on their buzzing site.

Hull? Cultural? Yes, you better believe it. Hull was confirmed UK City of Culture 2017. Look beyond the grimy surface of the tough Yorkshire port humming of fish and sink estates and you will find much to offer in the ways of culture. The UK City of Culture Award is given every four years to a city showing a transformational power of culture. Hull, it was decided, has a strong history of art, design and architecture.

‘I’m not a cultured man myself,’ says Baron Prescott, MP for Hull East, ‘and I didn’t think it would take off, but it has. It has made people say, Oh Christ, Hull, It has put the pride back in.’

It’s time for the rest of us to look at the town with new eyes. What are Hull’s claims to culture? This once prosperous city has the Freedom Centre and the Freedom Festival, a late summer performing arts event, the Ferens Art Gallery (eye up Canaletto, Lorenzetti and Frans Hals) and the lottery-funded aquarium, The Deep. Not to forget the impressive Victorian engineering in the docks, the Museum of Slavery in Wilberforce’s 17th century house, the Maritime Museum and East Riding Museum.

What will a year, as City of Culture, mean for Hull? We hear that council improvements include the makeover of Humber Street in the old Fruit Market where galleries are based and a £700,000 350-seat outdoor theatre will be built in the disused Central Dry Dock. The year will be themed around four seasons called Made in Hull, Roots and Routes, Freedom and Tell the World.

While many remain incredulous of its new title, Hull is having the last laugh. Find out what’s on, plan your visit and see what all the fuss is about on their buzzing site.

January 2017