Back the bid

2221

Ambassadors

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom

Hollywood actor

Orlando Bloom

It was here that I first discovered my love for acting. One of my earliest memories is of being spellbound by performers I would pass on the High Street. Like myself, many have found inspiration here.

East Kent has always had a strong reputation for cultural excellence, be it in the field of theatre or literature, the visual arts or dance and developments over the last few years have only served to cement that relationship.

Growing up in East Kent awakened my passion. I hope this bid can do the same for generations to come.

Jessica  Hynes

Jessica Hynes

Actress and Writer

Jessica Hynes

I have recently made the move to Folkstone and it's fair to say that the town - and the region as a whole - is bursting with creativity. It's great to see East Kent mounting its bid to become UK City of Culture 2017 - a bid that challenges the ordinary and majors on imagination and inspiration. I'm proud to support it!

Wayne Hemingway MBE

Wayne Hemingway MBE

Acclaimed designer

Wayne Hemingway MBE

Why am I getting behind East Kent’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2017? Because East Kent is clearly finding its cultural mojo. Through the work we are about to embark on with the Dreamland Trust in Margate, I have come to recognise and appreciate the depth, resourcefulness, creativity, diversity and wit of the area’s cultural community – a community that is well equipped to deliver projects of international significance.

Paul O'Grady

Paul O'Grady

Comedian and actor

Paul O'Grady

I'm pleased to support East Kent's bid to become UK City of Culture 2017. Hopefully it will draw attention to the amazing things that we have on offer here, including world-class galleries, fantastic theatres and some of the country's best-loved and most recognisable sites. I'm backing the bid!

Jools Holland

Jools Holland

Britain's most popular pianist

Jools Holland

Katie  Derham

Katie Derham

Broadcaster and Presenter

Katie Derham

As a child of Canterbury I have been watching East Kent's bid to become City of Culture with interest - and it's fantastic to see the broad and growing support for such an exciting campaign. 

I'm lucky enough to see first hand the enormous power of culture to inspire. And inspiration is exactly what this bid is all about - a bid which challenges us to dream a little bigger, to aim a little higher and to imagine what we can achieve if we put our minds to it. 

I am pleased to back East Kent, and i wish it every success in the competition. And if i get to meet Orlando Bloom and Bagpuss along the way, all the better!

Bob & Roberta Smith

Bob & Roberta Smith

Artist

Bob & Roberta Smith

This bid is the perfect opportunity to take stock and reflect on East Kent – to think again about the place we know so well and to imagine what the status of ‘City of Culture’ might mean to us and our local area.

I wanted to show my support and encourage people to have a go at creating their own works of art using the people and buildings they have at their disposal. And given that imagination and reflection are such important themes to our bid, what better way than with a mirror?

I’d encourage everyone to get stuck in and help build our ‘city imagined’. Hopefully my mirrors will give them the tool they need to get started.

Bagpuss

Bagpuss

Bagpuss

Even for a sleepy old cat like me, it's impossible not to be awake to the purrr-fectly marvellous opportunities here in East Kent.

From my shop window here in Canterbury I get a pretty good view of things and I see great enthusiasm for our bid to be UK City of Culture 2017.

I for one am backing the bid.

p.s. I've spoken to Emily and she's backing the bid too!

Sir David Chipperfield CBE

Sir David Chipperfield CBE

Award-winning architect

Sir David Chipperfield CBE

The creative revival that I have witnessed in East Kent – and had the pleasure of playing a part in through my work with Turner Contemporary in Margate – is truly astonishing. The area stands as a shining example of the positive role arts and culture can play in driving economic regeneration and social growth.

East Kent’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2017 can only continue this positive trend – and I am delighted to support it.

Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne

Author and former children's laureate

Anthony Browne

East Kent is, in many ways, the land of the storyteller - a spiritual home for pilgrims, poets, playwrights and authors. Poised at our island's edge and central to our connection with the outside world, it has long been a source of inspiration to artists and dreamers. 

There's always been movement through East Kent, but today we're witnessing a true movement in East Kent - a movement with creativity at its core and growth as its end goal. The role of culture in bridging communities, instilling optimism and creating tangible economic growth is no more clearly evidenced than here in East Kent. It's bid to become UK City of Culture, then, is the logical step in a truly national journey - and I am proud to support it. 

Dominic Savage

Dominic Savage

BAFTA-award-winning director

Dominic Savage

I have always had a particularly emotional connection with East Kent. Born and bred in Margate, the surrounding area continues to surprise, inspire and move me – and will always have an important place in my heart, and in my work.

And it's not just me. The area has undergone a real cultural renaissance over the last few years, becoming a home for artists and creatives of all types. But this isn't just about the great steps East Kent has already taken, it's about the distance it still has to travel. That's why I'm backing the bid.

Keith Williams

Keith Williams

Founder of Keith Williams Architects

Keith Williams

East Kent has long been a vibrant hotbed of cultural activity. The commitment during the past decade, to build an exceptional new cultural infrastructure, means that the area’s creative output is now matched by new arts buildings which are able to house events and programmes of true international significance.

Cities in the past have won the accolade of City of Culture without necessarily having the venues completed to deliver the promise.

With recently opened award winning buildings such as the Marlowe Theatre and The Beaney Art Museum in Canterbury, the Quarterhouse in Folkestone and the Turner Contemporary in Margate, East Kent is ready. It is the perfect candidate for UK City of Culture 2017, and I am delighted to support the bid!

Neal Purvis and  Robert Wade

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade

Bond film screenwriters

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade

East Kent will always hold a special place in our hearts. As university roommates in Canterbury it was here that our creative partnership was born and, as we have continued to write (and play) together ever since, we have never forgotten where it all began.

East Kent has enormous creative potential, and its bid to become UK City of Culture is the perfect opportunity to explore that potential, taking it to even greater heights. We're delighted to support it.

Michael Delebarre

Michael Delebarre

Senator and Mayor of Dunkirk

Michael Delebarre

Dunkirk and East Kent have shared histories -- one of the most moving ones being Operation Dynamo. As close partners looking to the future, we, the people of Dunkirk and the French-Flemish coast, strongly support East Kent for the 2017 UK City of Culture bid. We see it as a fantastic opportunity to deepen our ties and make of the Channel area a unique destination for arts and culture in North West Europe.

Mark  Sargeant

Mark Sargeant

Owner of Rocksalt Restaurant

Mark Sargeant

I'm backing East Kent's bid to become UK City of Culture for the simple reason that there's just so much going on here - we have a truly fantastic wealth of cultural treasures. 

The UK City of Culture bid is an excellent opportunity to lift the lid on this vibrant region and to invite the world to see just what we have to offer. I'm proud to support it!

Josh  De Haan

Josh De Haan

Managing Director, View.co.uk

Josh De Haan

Wherever you look in East Kent, change is afoot. Our cultural industries are spearheading growth at the coalface, transforming the fabric of our local economies and putting East Kent on the map as a vibrant hub for creative excellence. 

Our bid to become UK City of Culture 2017 can only be good news. It's great for our communities and it's great for business, giving another welcome injection to our flourishing visitor economy and bolstering our trendsetting agenda of culture-led regeneration. It's something we should all get behind!

Sir Keith Mills

Sir Keith Mills

Entrepreneur and deputy chair of LOCOG

Sir Keith Mills

Sir Keith Mills GBE, entrepreneur and deputy chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said:

"East Kent's bid to become UK City of Culture 2017 is an unbeatable opportunity to showcase our enormous cultural heritage and expertise and to lift the lid on Britain's crucial link to the outside world. As a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent I know that the cultural industries already play an enormous role in unlocking economic and social growth. With the East Kent bid we can only strengthen their resolve, injecting a renewed dose of confidence in an area that needs it most.

"I know more than most about the importance of bids like these – and I have absolute faith that East Kent's bid will be a winning one."

David Whelton

David Whelton

Managing Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra

David Whelton

The Philharmonia Orchestra has been developing relationships with cultural and education partners in East Kent since 2004 and from the outset we have been inspired by the creativity, energy and deep commitment to the highest quality cultural experience that is rooted within the region. We were proud to be named as Resident Orchestra of The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury when it reopened in 2011, and since then our work with different communities and partners across East Kent has blossomed, culminating in our recent major interactive digital music installation - which has brought together partners from across the arts, schools, music services and higher education in a unique consortium working model.

We are tremendously excited by East Kent’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2017, which we support wholeheartedly. Our own ambitions for the future in the region are ambitious and exciting, and this campaign is the perfect stimulus for us and our partners to reach out to an even wider cultural community and to even broader audiences.

Adam  Chodzko

Adam Chodzko

Multi-Media Artist

Adam Chodzko

Adam is a multi- media artist who exhibits internationally. 

He lives and works in Whitstable Kent and is backing the East Kent bid! 

Steering Group

The East Kent bid is a joint partnership between Kent County Council, Ashford Borough Council, Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council, Shepway District Council, Thanet District Council and major arts and cultural organisations in the region.

  • Ashford Borough Council
  • Blast Theory
  • Canterbury City Council
  • Canterbury Festival
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Creative Foundation
  • D Media Network
  • DAD Online
  • Dover District Council
  • Shepway District Council
  • Gulbenkian Theatre
  • Jasmin Vardimon
  • Kent music
  • Kent County Council
  • The Marlowe Theatre
  • Performing Arts Network Kent
  • People United
  • Screen South
  • South East Dance
  • Stour Valley Arts
  • Strange Cargo
  • Thanet District Council
  • Turner Contemporary
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • University of Kent
  • Visit Kent - Garden of England
  • Whistable Biennale

Supporters

This ever increasing list of supporters currently includes:

Back the bid!