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York bids to be City of Media Arts

York is bidding to become a UNESCO City of Media Arts and join the global Creative Cities Network.

The bid for accreditation, which will be formally submitted in early 2014, is being led by City of York Council in partnership with local business leaders and institutions.

UNESCO City of Media Arts status, currently only held by Lyon, would include membership to the Creative Cities Network, a global network of culturally-significant centres of excellence across a range of creative fields, including literature, design, and film.

With world-class creative assets such as the annual Illuminating York festival and the growth of media arts industries in the city, it is felt the time is right to formally apply for the title.

Councillor Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “We believe York has strong credentials to become the world’s second UNESCO City of Media Arts and it comes at a time when significant investment is going into our creative industries.

“The award of UNESCO status would have lasting benefits for us all. It would act as a catalyst for further investment in media arts, retain talent developed in the city, and add to York’s diverse appeal to residents, tourists, and businesses.

“The title also provides an excellent opportunity to boost York’s international reputation as a thriving centre for creative, media and digital production and participation, and would open up exciting new exchanges with other leading creative cities.

“Our bid forms part of a broader vision to put creative industries at the heart of York’s social, economic and cultural development, and the city’s quest to become a leading international city.”

More information about the Creative Cities network is available on the UNESCO website.


Notes to Editors

The council’s five key priorities for 2011-2015 are:

• Create jobs and grow the economy
• Get York moving
• Build strong communities
• Protect vulnerable people
• Protect the environment

The council’s cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism is Councillor Sonja Crisp on 07876 176931

For further information please contact:

Megan Rule

Communications Officer

City of York Council

Tel: 01904 552017

Fax: 01904 551064

Mob/out of hours: 07767318082