This sector is a major contribute to the local economy, encompassing the arts, heritage and cultural industries. There are two medieval castles, two motor museums, numerous entertainment and sports venues, cathedrals, art galleries, the birth place if the sport of Rugby, and a major international tourism hun in the form of Shakespeare's Stratford. Visitors spend a total of £505 million in the area and the tourism economy employs over 40,000 people.
At the end of 2017, Coventry was awarded the prestigious title of City of Culture in 2021, set to generate jobs, boost the economy and promote the excellent cultural assets and the region as a desirable place in which to live, work and study.
David Burbidge is Chairman of the Coventry City of Culture 2021 bid, until recently he served on the main Board of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and he is the former Chair of the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. He is also Chairman of Burbidge and Son Ltd a high quality furniture manufacturing company based in Coventry, and he was a Director of the Coventry Building Society from 1981 to 2005.
David was High Sheriff of the West Midlands (from 1990 to 1991), is a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands County and has been Master of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, as well as being a Freeman of the City of London. He was also the founding chairman of the Coventry Cathedral Development Trust, for which he was awarded with an OBE. In 2016 he was made a CBE for his services to cultural philanthropy.
"Culture and the creative industries provide a huge growth opportunity for our region"
These exciting Tourism & Culture events - aimed at those in the sector will examine how Coventry and the wider region can maximise forthcoming opportunities to increase the visitor economy.