Birmingham puts Staffordshire Hoard at heart of its UK City of Culture bid

By Culture24 Staff | 08 January 2009
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a photo of golden objects with Saxon motifs

(Above) The Staffordshire Hoard. © BMAG

Birmingham Cultural Partnership has launched its ambitious bid to become UK Capital of Culture with a £300 million capital investment in culture programme that could help secure the permanent display of the Staffordshire Hoard (above).

Britain’s largest city outside London is bidding to become the first UK Capital of Culture in 2013 under the title Big City Culture, and key to its strategy is a £9.7 development of a brand new wing of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which will focus on the history of the city’s important global heritage.

During the first year a blockbuster exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard will showcase the 7.5kg silver and gold hoard of more than 1,500 items – the largest Anglo-Saxon haul ever discovered in the UK.

The proposed exhibition follows on from the extraordinary success of its first showing at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) in 2009, when a record 46,000 visitors queued up to see the Hoard in 19 days.

a photo of people queueing to get into a building

(Above) queueing to see the Staffordshire Hoard in Birmingham. © Newsquest

A campaign is already underway to bring the hoard back to the area where it was discovered. In December 2009 The Art Fund urged the public to help raise the £3.3 million cost of buying the record-breaking Anglo-Saxon find for BMAG and the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Big City Culture programme will also see the £193 million new Library of Birmingham designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo, the largest development of its kind in Europe. Birmingham City University’s £130 million new Creative Campus, is also written into the bid co-locating the city’s major creative industries’ centres for education and enterprise on a 37,000 sq m site to increase the flow of ideas and talent between them.

Chair of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, Cllr Martin Mullaney said they were “committed to cultural investment in our regional economy” and the creation of new jobs and opportunities during a time “when the West Midlands has suffered more than any other region of England during the recession.”

“This opportunity to become the first ever UK Capital of Culture, building on our proud heritage of innovation and commitment to culture, is unique and we want to grasp it with both hands,” added Cllr Mullaney.

a architects image of a futuristic building

(Above) The £193 million new Library of Birmingham designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo.

Birmingham Cultural Partnership, which comprises Birmingham City Council, Marketing Birmingham, Museums Libraries and Archives, Arts Council England and Advantage West Midlands, working in collaboration with cultural and economic organisations across the entire West Midlands region.

See images of the Staffordshire Hoard at: www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk.

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