Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture has been pushed back to start in May 2021, due to the coronavirus crisis.
Starting in May instead of the beginning of the year will “allow a fuller programme of public events”, according to the organisation team.
“The current crisis has hit our city, our region and our sector hard,” the chief executive of Coventry 2021 said.
The new start date will enable the maximum possible number of people to visit and take part, he added.
Chief Executive Martin Sutherland said: “We are delighted that we will be able to have a year of celebration – a time when the city and country need it most – and that the dates are now set in stone.”
Chenine Bhathena, creative director of Coventry 2021, said: “At this time of uncertainty, our determination to create connections, memories and commit to making a change is unwavering and we are determined to create an amazing year.”
Along with the start date being moved, the organisation team also announced plans for a “major, signature event”, which will is expected to be a key element to the festivities.
Described as a mass, city-wide celebration, it will be co-created alongside thousands of local people of all ages whose music, performance and dance will weave through structures also built by residents.
Further details of the year-long programme is expected to be announced later this year.
The decision to push back the start date was unanimous it added and jointly taken by Coventry City of Culture Trust and its partners including Coventry City Council and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.