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Can Sheffield be the UK City of Culture in 2013?
UK City of Culture, Sheffield 2013

In February 2010 BBC Radio Sheffield's Paulette Edwards took part in The City of Culture debate, asking what is culture?

Sheffield gave its presentation to the City of Culture board on Wednesday 16 June 2010. They now decide who will be awarded the 2013 title City of Culture.

Paulette Edwards is part of that presentation and ahead of the bid, she looked ahead to her patriotic pitch for Sheffield...

By Paulette Edwards
BBC Sheffield & South Yorkshire

When I took part in the Culture Debate in the Millennium Hall in February 2010, snow was on the ground. Now we are in June, the sun is almost shining and I am still no closer to answering my original question: what is culture?

I do, however have a better sense of it and I am even more convinced that Sheffield deserves the title of UK City of Culture.

In February, Culture Minister Margaret Hodge announced the final four cities which are vying to become the UK's first City of Culture. They are Birmingham, Derry/Londonderry, Norwich and Sheffield.

We won't find out until July 2010 who the winning city is, but one thing I do know - it should be Sheffield.

BBC Radio Sheffield's Paulette Edwards
What does culture mean to you?

On Wednesday 16th June we head to Liverpool with members of the other cities who, like us, have reached the next stage.

Sheffield has the variety and charm to mesmerise the judges with what she is and who she is - and she can rise to the challenge of becoming UK City of Culture 2013.

We have the range of sexy buildings and venues. Have you seen Tudor Square lately? Sheffield attracts a wide range of artists on every level; George Benson was incredible at the Arena in May, and I've heard that tickets for John Simm's performance in Hamlet at the Crucible in September are selling like hot cakes. This is just a small example of the music and arts that the city has the offer.

We are a hospitable and convivial city. What more could people who are visiting Sheffield ask for?

I've talked to my mother-in-law, Renee, about this. She is Dutch and comes to see us most years. She never fails to be impressed by the range of cultural activities in Sheffield and each time she comes to the city she finds something that we didn't even know about. It's always great to be a tourist in my own city.

Renee is always impressed with the charm of Sheffield's people and the variety of ethnicities that get along so well together. Last time she came she broke her shoulder bone and was astonished that there were people in Rivelin Valley prepared to drive her to the hospital and wait for the outcome of her X-ray.

Sheffield cares and there isn't the fragmentation of cultures that happens in some cities. Yes we have our share of 'issues'. Yes, I am sounding like Jeremy Kyle - but that doesn't stop us continuing to work at being our best and supporting each other.

So the next stage is that we go to Liverpool and sock it to them.

The Sheffield team consists of:

Me (Paulette Edwards)
John Mothersole, Council Chief Executive
Paul Scriven, Leader of Sheffield Council
Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres (we will be doing a double act - I can't wait!)
Dr Tom Fleming, Creative Consultant
Paul Billington, Director of Culture
Heather Croall, Director of the Sheffield Documentary Festival
Kim Streets, Director of Museums Sheffield
Amy Carter, Head of Arts for Sheffield City Council, and
Ashley Barnes, Artistic Director of the Dead Ernest Theatre Company

Together we are a force to be reckoned with. Each of us is passionate about the city of Sheffield and we are committed to winning the bid.

I'm confident. Without a doubt I feel we have a good chance. There will be no singing and dancing, no fireworks, no twirling batons and semi-clad beauties - male or female, just a strong team tied together by various shades of purple and pink. Yes, we are going to be colour co-ordinated - don't ask.

Our aim is to bring the vibe of the city we all love, and to impress on the judges the city's charm and the quiet confidence. Hopefully they will love our fair city as much as we do!

We will find out the result of our presentation in July 2010. Fingers crossed...

Let us know what culture means to you - and do you think Sheffield should be the UK City of Culture in 2013?

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