PRINCE William and Kate Middleton are visiting Coventry in light of their UK City of Culture 2021 triumph.
This visit was announced this afternoon by Kensington Palace.
It tweeted: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in Coventry on 16th January where they will visit Coventry Cathedral, Coventry University and The Positive Youth Foundation.”
They will officially open Coventry University’s new Science and Health building, which has combined new lab facilities with simulation equipment for teaching and research.
They last visited the West Midlands in November when they visited the Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull manufacturing plant.
And with the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2022 the area is set to become a flag-bearer for English cultural, scientific and sporting achievement.
Coventry was announced as UK City of Culture on December 7 and the city has been in celebration ever since.
Coventry beat rival cities Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea to the title, which is expected to bring in investment and new jobs.
Coventry University and PYF were integral to the City of Culture bid and have been praised for their efforts to engage the younger generations.
The Foundation has supported thousands of young people in the city – including newly arrived asylum seekers and refugees – and has helped Coventry to become a multicultural role model for other cities.
Culture minister John Glen who visited the city after he and the judges decided to grant the award to Coventry.
He visited the famous 1960s Sir Basil Spence cathedral, a symbol of peace and reconciliation across the world, and received a whistle stop tour, meeting figures that were heavily involved with the bid.
Coventry’s City of Culture programme will include a Streets of Culture programme co-producing work in local communities.
A 2.2 mile Ring Road poem is set to be one of the digital centrepieces of 2021 along with major productions by the RSC and the screening of the entire works of Shakespeare in iconic locations.
An artist-led festival called ‘Moments of Silence’ will create moments of silence and beauty and reflect on the city’s 700-year-old Carthusian monastery Charterhouse and play on the myth of being ‘Sent to Coventry’.
Building on the success of 95-year-Old Indian Photographer Masterji’s exhibition, the city will develop a project Tale of Two streets that looks at two of the most diverse streets in Britain through the eyes of photographers.
Coventry University vice-chancellor prof John Latham said: “Their Royal Highnesses will be able to witness the incredible facilities and innovative teaching that goes on within this building for nurses, midwives and other health professionals – and see how this will have an impact on and inspire not just our students, but also the whole community.”
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, councillor Tony Skipper, said: “I am delighted that the visit will include some of the places and people who helped to put together such a strong bid and show what an amazing city we live in. We do have a wonderful history and a fascinating story to tell, but we are also so proud of the city we have today and the work that is going on to create an even better city for the future.
Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, also said: “We are thrilled that the Duke and Duchess will be coming to Coventry so soon after we were named UK City of Culture 2021.
“It has been an incredible few weeks for the city and this visit will, again, put Coventry in the spotlight and is a chance to showcase the city’s past, present and future to the Royal Highnesses – and to the world.”
The reverend Canon David Stone from Coventry Cathedral added: “Deeply embedded in the culture we share with our city is a commitment to help enemies become friends.
“We are delighted at the opportunity we shall have to share this passion for peace and reconciliation with our royal visitors.”
Rashid Bhayat, chief executive of Positive Youth Foundation, said: “The Positive Youth Foundation support young people through targeted education, health, creative and social-engagement programmes.
“Their Highnesses will meet groups of inspirational young people who have overcome many barriers and benefited from the support we offer.”