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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 20:48 GMT
City reveals new culture sponsor
United Utilities has sealed a multi-million pound deal to become an official sponsor of Liverpool's Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.

The 2m deal will go towards funding the Creative Communities programme which funded 80 arts-based initiatives within the city last year.

The firm will also provide engineering support and other technical expertise.

In September, law firm Hill Dickinson became the first official sponsor, providing cash and legal services.

John Roberts CBE, United Utilities' chief executive, said: "Liverpool is a fantastic city right at the heart of United Utilities' North West roots.

"As a Merseysider, I'm very excited that we will be helping make this the best European Capital of Culture ever."

Councillor Mike Storey, leader of Liverpool City Council, said the company's support "is a huge vote of confidence in Liverpool and the city's cultural renaissance".

He added: "It shows our ambitions for 2008 are well founded and enjoy the support of the business community.

''We want to stage the best ever Capital of Culture Europe has ever seen in 2008 and our deal with United Utilities secures important extra funding from the private sector.

"Delivering the '08 programme is a major task but like a jigsaw, piece by piece it is coming together.''

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