Exeter Culture has appointed literature development agency Literature Works for a short contract to consult widely and to prepare an application from Exeter to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Literature.

Dom Jinks, Director of Exeter Culture, said: “The consultancy went through an open tender process and we are delighted that Literature Works was successful. This is a hugely exciting opportunity to maximise the great organisations and archives connected to literature, and to develop a programme that focuses on engaging a broad range of people, partners and communities.”

The consultancy will run until the end of June 2019 upon the submission of the bid to UNESCO.

Helen Chaloner, CEO of Literature Works, said: “We are delighted that Exeter has decided to go for UNESCO City of Literature status. Access to stories, words and reading are at the core of our mission as the literature development agency for South West England. It is a pleasure to use this expertise and our commitment to literature on behalf of Exeter and its ambition to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.”

The UNESCO Cities of Literature network includes 28 cities in 23 countries across six continents. The UK cities are Edinburgh, Norwich, Nottingham and Manchester. The City of Literature programme is part of a wider Creative Cities Network, which was launched in 2004 and is currently made up of 180 UNESCO Creative Cities globally. Members are drawn from 72 countries and cover seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music, and Media Arts. Cities in the network promote their local creative scene and conform to UNESCO’s goal of fostering cultural diversity. They recognise past, present and future: a strong cultural heritage, a vibrant and diverse contemporary cultural scene, and aspirations to extend culture to the next generation at home and to other cities in a global partnership.

Exeter will hear about UNESCO’s decision in November 2019.