Letter from the Media Editor: Hull named UK City of Culture for 2017


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The Independent Online


Such is the proliferation of tourists here in central London that I often wonder how many of them consider visiting the treasures to be found in other parts of this country.

Certainly, I’d be surprised if Kingston-upon-Hull is ringed in red in many travel guides clutched by the hordes of budget flight travellers who make repeat visits to our overcrowded capital.

Maybe that will change after the city of William Wilberforce and Philip Larkin was named UK City of Culture for 2017.

The new status was greeted with wild celebrations at a party at Hull Truck theatre, which made its name with the John Godber plays that captured the pain of the North of England in the Thatcher years. These are happier times for Hull, which will anticipate the benefit enjoyed by Liverpool and Derry-Londonderry when those cities were declared cultural destinations.

Britain’s problem of London bias remains. This paper reported yesterday on the worrying drain of graduates to the capital. They’re rarely deserting cultural wastelands – visitor numbers to northern galleries and museums are rising, thanks to attractions such as Liverpool’s Tate and the Baltic in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

There are economic reasons for migration to the metropolis but – no matter where we live – these gems are there to be enjoyed. It might encourage more foreign visitors to do the same. And thanks to our cultural guide to Hull  i readers don’t have to wait until 2017 to start.