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Theresa Blegvad at the Capital of Culture conference in Dundee

Insight 28 March 2017

Capital of Culture

Dundee must leverage its existing and emerging gems to secure the 2023 European Capital of Culture title, a key advisor has said.

Aarhus city Convenor for Culture Theresa Blegvad was speaking ahead of the European Capital of Culture 2023 – Dundee bid stakeholder event, which takes place in the city tomorrow (Thursday).

“Aarhus was going through a transformation when we applied for the title, much like Dundee is now. The change was already happening, but we seized on the unconscious to create momentum and purpose and drive more change. We consciously focused our bid on highlighting everything the city had to offer and the developments to become more modern and international. Things have continued to blossom since then.” Theresa Blegvad

Aarhus is partnering with 19 municipalities across the Central Region Denmark to ensure 2017 Capital of Culture is successful. The year-long festival is drawing on the city’s cultural gems including its library, museum, university, Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as its nature and culture.

The city will host four ‘mega’ events attracting at least 40,000 people per event and expects to welcome up to 10 million overnight visitors during the course of the year. More than 451M Danish Krone is being spent over a five year period to ensure the year-long festival is successful.

Theresa heads up the Nordic region of Dundee-headquarter learning and development company Insights. She’s been asked to participate on the Dundee advisory board and support key stakeholders working on the Dundee 2023 European Capital of Culture bid.

She said: “Insights is an innovative business that believes culture is critical for development. That’s why we got behind the Aarhus bid, and now the Dundee bid.”

Insights Chief Executive Andy Lothian said: “We’re absolutely committed to the city of Dundee.

“Dundee is undergoing a transformation and local businesses, like Insights, have a responsibility to help this city grow and thrive.”

He added: “We are excited that Theresa has agreed to support our efforts in the city by sharing her successful Aarhus experience.”

Theresa will welcome members of the Dundee bid to Aarhus in June for a three-day fact finding mission and to share knowledge and experience of the bid process.

Theresa said:

“Dundee must be bold and visionary. It should leverage its UNESCO status as a City of Design, highlight the city’s many features and attributes, work with nearby cities if possible and seek support from local businesses.
“Aarhus worked with neighbouring cities to strengthen our bid and secure the title. We wanted to share the experience with everyone and ensure everyone benefitted. We also got the support of local businesses, like Insights Nordic.”
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