The city of Hull is an international port on the bank of the River Humber in East Yorkshire. It is positioned at the end of the transpennine railway and motorway (the M62), and geographically separate from other cities in Yorkshire. During the 19th century, Hull’s ports and fishing industry thrived and this coastal heritage continues to influence the character of the city.
Hull is a small city and, in 2019, had an estimated population of 259, 778 (Hull Data Observatory, 2019). Although the population remains mostly White British, in the last 20 years, the city has become much more diverse and is now home to people from across the globe. The number of people living in Hull that were born outside of the UK increased from 3% (7300) in 2001, to approximately 13% in 2019 (33800) (Migration Yorkshire, 2014; 2019). These numbers include people (and their families) that are working in local industries, some that are studying at Hull University, and others that are seeking safety from conflict, persecution and environmental crises. In 2017, this diversity was supported by Hull becoming the UK’s most recent City of Sanctuary.
During the last 50 years, Hull’s port and fishing industry have declined, and many major manufacturers have also closed. People in the city have felt the impact of this in terms of employment opportunities, and the effect this has had on communities. In 2017, however, Hull was the UK City of Culture. This was a catalyst for significant positive change, and show-cased the city’s arts scene. As well as celebrating the city’s maritime history and increased diversity, this accolade promoted events and attractions, such as, the Ferens Art Gallery, the city’s thriving museum quarter and the nationally acclaimed music festival, Humber Street Sesh.