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Bidding cities announced in UK City of Culture competition


LEICESTER has learned today (Wednesday) that it will be competing against 10 other areas in a bid to be declared the UK’s next City of Culture.

Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey announced this morning that Aberdeen, Chester, Dundee, East Kent, Hastings & Bexhill on Sea, Hull, Plymouth, Portsmouth & Southampton, Southend on Sea and Swansea Bay have all confirmed that they will be submitting their bids to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport by the April 30th deadline.

Members of the consortium formed to put together Leicester’s bid have welcomed the news.

“We’re confident in the strength of Leicester’s bid, but it’s good to know what the opposition is,” said City Mayor Peter Soulsby, who chairs the consortium.

“These places clearly have a lot to offer, but what our rivals lack is Leicester’s unique diversity – and that will be the bedrock of our bid.”

Lucy Phillips, director of the Leicester Print Workshop and a member of the bid consortium, said: “The UK City of Culture competition presents shared opportunities for Leicester to shout loud about its assets and ambitions.

“Acting as a spur for new partnerships, artworks and experiences, it will bring its people and spaces together to host a programme that will show the UK and the rest of the world what the city is made of.”

Leicester’s bid to follow Derry as the 2017 UK City of Culture will celebrate Leicester’s urban heritage and the contribution of its people to art, music and festivals.

The recent discovery of the remains of King Richard III has brought Leicester to a world stage and provides a platform from which to launch an ambitious bid.

Leicester’s decision to bid for UK City of Culture status – announced last week – has been well received, with local business people recognising the opportunities that the designation could bring to the city.

“Becoming UK City of Culture would bring huge benefits to Leicester,” said the City Mayor.

“It would give us a wonderful opportunity to highlight the city’s history and reinforce its identity, while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”

All the cities must submit their bids by 30 April. Bids will be assessed by the DCMS in May/June, with shortlisted cities then invited to submit a further, final bid. Deadline for receipt of final bids is 30 September. The UK City of Culture 2017 will then be announced in November 2013.

People wanting to back Leicester’s bid can show their support on Facebook ( or Twitter (@Leicester2017).


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