City of Culture partnership backed by Spencer Group shortlisted for arts and business award

The Hull 2017 Angels initiative supported by Spencer Group has been nominated for a prestigious award recognising links between the arts and business.

The Hull 2017 Angels Business Consortium and Hull 2017 UK City of Culture Bid have been nominated for the Arts & Business Awards in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover.

The link-up has been recognised as one of the top five partnerships within the Arts & Business New Sponsorship Award, which demonstrates how new collaborations between the arts and business sectors continue to drive exciting arts initiatives throughout the UK.

The Hull 2017 Angels scheme was launched at a breakfast meeting in September last year hosted by the Bondholders marketing organisation which promotes Hull and the Humber.  Four companies came forward to make pledges immediately after the meeting and the Bondholders and Hull’s City of Culture teams worked together to secure more pledges of £17,000 each from 22 companies to support Hull’s cultural programme and reinforce the city’s bid.

Charlie Spencer, Chairman of Hull-based Spencer Group, said: “We’re proud to be one of the ‘Angels’ and to have played our part in Hull’s successful bid to be UK City of Culture 2017.

“Being named City of Culture has already had a highly beneficial impact on Hull’s image and reputation. It’s good to see the role played by businesses such as ours in supporting the bid and the planned cultural programme being recognised in many ways, including these awards.”

Jon Pywell, City Lead for Hull UK City of Culture 2017, said: “The Angels initiative delivered a huge boost to Hull’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2017.

“This commitment from 22 local companies demonstrated that they were prepared to stand behind the city’s cultural organisations and partners to secure this huge prize. It has highlighted the potential for arts and business to work together to bring about the cultural regeneration of the city and is now helping us to galvanise other potential businesses and sponsors behind Hull 2017.”

The collaboration was nominated for the award by one of the Business Angels, marketing company Force-7 Ltd.

Force-7 Director Phil Batty, who is also a member of the Bondholders Advisory Group, said: “Now more than ever businesses need to lead in collaborative thinking around sponsorship of the arts. By working in partnership, 22 local businesses were able to offer £374,000 to help secure the Hull’s title as the next UK City of Culture.

“The return will be a multi-million pound arts programme that will touch the lives of every resident, employee and business in the city.”

The Arts & Business Awards in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover celebrate the finest partnerships between the commercial and cultural sectors. This year, over 100 partnerships entered across the eight award categories.

Ian Callum, Design Director at Jaguar Cars, said: “The arts are not an optional extra. As all these creative partnerships testify, the role of business in promoting and supporting the arts is becoming ever more valuable.”