2012 Olympics mastermind to lead Hull City of Culture

Martin Green, the man behind the 2012 Olympics Ceremonies and Torch Relays has been recruited as the new Chief Executive of Hull: UK City of Culture 2017.

The appointment is a major coup for the 2017 team led by Chair Rosie Millard.

Green will move to Hull having masterminded this summer’s opening ceremony of the Tour De France Grand Depart in Leeds as Executive Producer, working alongside Welcome to Yorkshire.

Green has an impressive track record in events delivery. From 2007 to 2012, he was Head of Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Overseeing a multi-million pound budget, he assembled the team that delivered the spectacular ceremonies.

Green recruited Danny Boyle and the other artistic directors to the ceremonies and hand-picked many of the artists and production teams that showcased the best of British culture to the rest of the world. His team tripled the original budget for the ceremonies by working with public bodies and corporate sponsors. He also led the two highly successful Torch relays for the Games which saw 15m people line the streets of the UK in a unique community celebration.

In 2007 Green programmed and opened the £500m O2 venue in London. Prior to that, he was Head of Events for the Mayor of London’s office, producing more than 60 events per year.

“With its great cultural heritage and its ambition to use culture to transform perceptions of the city and the lives of local people, Hull embodies what being UK City of Culture is all about,” said Green.

“As Chief Executive, I want to bring together the best local, national and international talent to deliver an inspirational, ambitious artistic programme that will put Hull on the map before, during and after 2017.

“It is a huge opportunity that I am determined will deliver a lasting legacy for the city.”

Green will begin working in his new role on 1 October.

Rosie Millard, Chair of UK City of Culture 2017, said: “Martin is exactly the kind of person we had in mind for this role, right from the start.

“We needed someone who had not only run high-profile events on a huge scale, but who also had that rare talent for identifying and conveying the true qualities of a place, the quirks, the strengths, the passions that have developed through generations to give a place its unique character.

“Martin did exactly that for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics. He assembled and led a team that turned visions into reality and captured the imagination of the whole world.

“I can’t think of anyone more suited to doing the same for Hull.”

Hull won the title of UK City of Culture 2017 on 20 November 2013, having faced strong competition from Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay.

Hull’s bid was inspired by the poem Days, by Philip Larkin, who lived in the city.

Focusing on four distinctive themes – Roots and Routes, Made in Hull, Freedom and Quirky – Hull’s 2017 programme will take place over 365 days and will feature over 1,500 events, 15 national and international commissions, 12 artists’ residences and 25 festivals.

Hull’s £18m City of Culture programme is part of a 10-year plan to create 7,500 jobs through cultural regeneration and making the city a world-class visitor destination.

Hull 2017 is expected to boost the economy by £60m in 2017 alone. Between 2015 and 2020 it is estimated that it will generate an additional £184m visitor spend in Hull.

CN revealed (18 July) Hull is to get a £42m 3,500 capacity conference centre with work likely to start next year.
Do you have news for CN? Email: Paul Colston

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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