The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has awarded £3.5m to Coventry City of Culture to help the city deliver its celebrations this summer in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

It said the funding will help Coventry City of Culture host events with enhanced Covid-19 safety and hygiene methods, providing reassurance to audiences and ensuring the celebrations can go ahead as restrictions ease over the summer. The funding will also help enable the live streaming of events in order that the audience for the events can be expanded.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said, “[I’m] delighted that Coventry will receive millions of pounds from the Government to help produce a Covid-safe festival.

“Coventry has demonstrated a remarkable resilience and ability to adapt during these challenging and unprecedented times. Now more than ever, it is vitally important that we bring our communities together through culture, arts and heritage.”

It is expected that Coventry’s year as City of Culture will see an economic boost of £211m with an additional 2.5m visitors. It is hoped that 80% of the city’s residents will engage with the programme three or more times across the year, and it will attract around 10,000 volunteers and create more than 900 jobs.

Coventry is the third UK City of Culture with Derry-Londonderry the first city to take up the mantle in 2013, followed by Hull in 2017.

More than £8.8 million of the government’s unprecedented £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has been awarded to 28 organisations in Coventry to help them through the Covid-19 pandemic.