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Culture in play: the power of art, sport & tourism

3rd March 2022
12:00am - 12:00am
Hull Truck Theatre, 50 Ferensway, Hull, HU2 8LB 
Culture in play

Marketing Humber welcomed back its dedicated network of Bondholders, representing a broad-cross section of businesses in the region, to the first fully in-person Bondholder Breakfast since 2020.

Organised by Marketing Humber, the event took place on 3rd March at Hull Truck Theatre and celebrated 50 years of the city’s key cultural venue.

A strong turn-out of over 100 attendees came to the theatre to catch up, network, and learn more about the impact, success and future of Humber culture, sport, and tourism.

Culture in Play: The power of art, sport and tourism featured a line-up of speakers including:

  • Patricia Yates, Deputy CEO, VisitBritain
  • Mark Babych, Artistic Director, Hull Truck Theatre
  • James Rodwell, CEO, Hull City AFC
  • David Gent, CEO, Active Humber
  • Chris Boardman MBE, Chair, Sport England

Opening the event, Bill Walker, Marketing Humber Chair, said: “It is great to be back, thank you to our Bondholders for their support and encouragement over the last two difficult years. We're looking forward to working together as we continue to put Hull and the Humber on the map. Culture touches all our lives in ways that last a lifetime, here's to the next 50 years of Hull Truck Theatre.”

Hull Truck Theatre sponsored and hosted the event, as Artistic Director Mark Babych told the story of the venue’s 50-year history, with a look into the next 50 years.

Mark said: "When I think about our journey and the many people that have led us to this point, it's remarkable. We're all extremely proud and want this to continue for the next 50 years. It is a valuable cultural asset that improves everybody's lives

"In the future we want to widen access and attract new audiences, remaining a creative hub for the city that is open and accessible to all."

Patricia Yates, Deputy CEO at VisitBritain, travelled to Hull to share a national perspective on the positive impact and future opportunities of digital, culture, media and sport businesses: “Walking around Hull last night it was great to see people back out and enjoying themselves after lockdown.

“The synergy of a good place to visit overlaps into a good place to live, invest and work. That sense of placemaking delivers dividends and welcomes international visitors too.”

The topic turned to sport as James Rodwell, CEO at Hull City introduced himself to the local business community. Speaking about Acun Illicali’s vision for the club, he said: “"The football club has undergone a transition. It was one of the quickest takeovers I have ever seen.

“Acun fell in love with the region and the people, and immediately decided he wanted to buy the club, such is his determination. One of the most exciting parts of my job is that we have inherited great people and the challenge is to blend cultures, the Humber with the Bosphorus in Turkey."

Chris Boardman MBE gave a video message to delegates, speaking in his role as Chair of Sport England: “Sport is the glue that holds all the society-enriching stuff, such as healthy ways of dealing with stress, improved self-esteem and being a part of something bigger, together. That’s why it is something really worth investing in.

“My sport (cycling) has the unique potential to change a nation in more ways still by giving all of us the means to leave the car at home. That’s my mission; to create a partner agency to Sport England – Active Travel England – to ensure everyone in the country has the choice to travel under their own steam. I hope I can count on your support in telling your local representatives that this is the kind of world we want to build.”

David Gent, CEO of Active Humber, presented on the economic benefits of having an active population. David said: “If physical activity were prescribed, it would be considered a miracle drug. The argument for physical activity is wide ranging and can protect us against a wide range of illnesses. Meanwhile community sport alone contributes £20bn to the UK economy. Inactivity is costing the taxpayer £60bn a year. We need your help to get us active.

“Together we can deliver that sustainable economic growth. If we can get all journeys under 2km to be active, the air would be so much cleaner, and our regional economy would feel the benefits.”

This event marked the start of a busy schedule of events organised by Marketing Humber, which will take place throughout 2022. Events are free for Bondholders to attend, with the next event taking place at VPI Immingham on 17th March.

The exclusive Industry Insight will feature a unique first hand opportunity to learn more about the pioneering project to decarbonise critical industry in the region.

Bondholders can sign up to the event here. To find out more about becoming a Bondholder, visit