“The city of culture bid is a fantastic opportunity for Stoke-on-Trent and as the Connected University we're committed to boldly go where no bid has gone before."
Professor Ieuan Ellis, Staffordshire University Pro Vice-Chancellor
Staffordshire University became the official launch pad for submission of Stoke-on-Trent's bid to become the City of Culture 2021.
The University is an official partner in the bid and was involved in a space mission that saw the bid launched into the stratosphere from the Leek Road sports field.
Graduate film company, Inspired Film and Video, captured the historic event on camera as students welcomed World's Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, to the Stoke-on-Trent campus to put his strength behind the bid.
He took the bid document and signature #sot2021 duck from Stoke City striker Peter Crouch before the big launch.
Eddie said: “I'm proud to come from North Staffordshire and throw my weight behind the city of culture bid. It is a great opportunity for Stoke-on-Trent and has got the city buzzing. It was amazing to see the bid fly off into space, and I wish it every success.”
Professor Ieuan Ellis, Staffordshire University Pro Vice-Chancellor, said: “The city of culture bid is a fantastic opportunity for Stoke-on-Trent and as the Connected University we're committed to boldly go where no bid has gone before and giving it the full backing and support of our university community of students and staff.”
Councillor Abi Brown, Stoke-on-Trent deputy leader and chair of the city's bid said: “We think our bid is out of this world – and now we have literally proved it. The journey of sending the submission to the edges of space and the images and footage being beamed back are sensational. It shows our ambition of delivering on a national and international scale, and by capturing the bid logo against the backdrop of the earth it is a statement of intent that Stoke-on-Trent has global appeal.”
Engineering firm KMF Group used the expertise gained from its young engineer of the year competition last year to help make the 'space' stunt possible. They worked with specialist company Sent into Space, the University and local schools to send balloons into near space and bring back images from the journey.
Managing director Gareth Higgins MBE said: “We're one of many businesses that realises the potential that city of culture can have for Stoke-on-Trent, and were only too pleased to help mark the final bid submission.”
There are five cities left in the competition to be named UK City of Culture 2021 – Coventry, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea. The winner will be announced by the government at the start of December.
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