““This is the past that someone in the future is longing to go back to.” ”Ashleigh Brilliant
It's quite the thing to talk Hull up now, which is good. It's just that some of us could see it all along.
Strawberry love this place and have been shouting about it from the rooftops for the 23 years we have been around.
Our experience, our education, our research, our work, our play is imbued with the city's proud history, distinctive DNA and cultural renaissance.
It has always been a place with a unique, and occasionally peculiar, identity. It is about warmth, honesty, openness, spirit, resilience and an instinctive flavour for understatement.
However, something has changed. This is a different, more confident Hull. A city that is united and proud. Its people always knew what their city was about. But now they are speaking with one voice, and telling a world that watches with admiration, interest and a little surprise.
The best 'city-brands' seize a moment, capturing a sense of a region's unique personality, an idea of where its heartbeat is, infusing it with large helpings of pride, passion and character. Fortunately for us, these are among our region's key assets.
We often forget that Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff, Manchester and, most recently, Liverpool were all stigmatised in a similar way to this region, and all suffered greatly because of imposed perceptions from outside, when the citizens knew all along what their respective hometowns were really about.
The magic formula is to make something tangible of the city's spirit and get people to switch onto it. The key is to capture the essence, personality and distinctive sense of place that exists in Hull by tapping into the everyday authenticity of its people.
But this is not about a logo, brand or image; it's about a state of mind. It's about a city that is as inspiring as its people, rich as its remarkable history and vibrant as its future.
Once again, this rebel city is entering a revolutionary era that heralds new business investment and world‐class events, and a changing perception as a modern, innovative and thriving place.
Hull, once known for its shipyards, factories and fishing industry, has undergone a transformation. What were once the city's dockyards have become digital hubs, creative, retail and leisure spaces, and a global centre of the renewables industry. The old Fruit Market, is to be the thriving hub of Hull's creative industry, and our colleges and universities are producing highly‐qualified graduates who are well‐placed to fill the ranks of the city's businesses and industries.
Strawberry always wanted to be at the forefront of a new take on Hull. Now it is upon us.
So, in 2017, this most momentous of years, we can join together to celebrate a place that is warm, welcoming and bold, just like its people; Ambitious, inventive and entrepreneurial, just like its people. And modern, creative and highly successful.
Just like its people.