Business Boost | 11 November 2015 - by KCOM

City of Culture chief urges businesses: Let’s make Hull City of the Year!

Businesses have been urged to play their part in making Hull the UK’s City of the Year, not just the country’s cultural capital, during 2017.

Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Chief Executive Martin Green made the call in a presentation to small businesses during a “Boost Your Business” breakfast event staged by KCOM Business.

Martin said 2017 was an unprecedented opportunity for Hull to show its very best face to the world, in every aspect of the city.

“Perhaps we should stop talking just about being City of Culture. In 2017 we will be City of the Year and, if you think of it like that, everything becomes part of it”

“It’s incumbent on us all to work together, to galvanise the sheer energy it will take to deliver this. We can be an exemplar of how to do it.”

Martin spoke at the KC Stadium in a scene-setting event for a new series of Boost Your Business meetings to be held by KC Business in the run-up to the City of Culture year, billed as “Getting your business ready for 2017”.

He gave a compelling presentation focused on how to prepare for success, explaining how, in his role as Head of Ceremonies for the London Olympics, he had led the team that delivered unforgettable highlights of the 2012 Games. He described the spectacular and uniquely British opening ceremony as “the greatest show on Earth” and the world’s most-watched television event ever, seen by over one billion people.

Critical to the success of the London 2012 ceremonies was clear artistic leadership, such as that offered by Danny Boyle, who directed the opening ceremony. “There was no design by committee. You pick your leader and follow their vision, good or bad,” Martin said.

Martin headed a world-class team of directors and producers who between them made extraordinary performances possible.

“I have always managed to convince and cajole the most brilliant people to work with me,” he said. The same principle applied to Hull, where Martin said the City of Culture company and partner organisations made up an “extraordinary team” to deliver Hull’s year in the limelight.

He said the greatest legacy of the London Olympics was “the destruction of British cynicism” as the outstanding success of the Games convinced people that Britain could deliver world-class events.

He said that had echoes with Hull, where being named City of Culture had given residents a huge boost in confidence and belief.

The new series of Boost Your Business events held in the run-up to 2017 are intended to help ensure local businesses are in the best position to maximise the opportunities of the year and beyond.


KC’s Director of Business, Alan Worthing, echoed Mr Green’s call for people and organisations across the city to say ‘yes’ to the opportunity of 2017, not ‘no’ or ‘maybe’.

“We’re all now part of the team that will make Hull a success in 2017 and beyond,” he said. “We can make this the City of the Year, not just City of Culture, in 2017.”