Press release

From Hastings to Hull, and Southend-on-Sea to Swansea Bay, 11 bid to become UK City of Culture 2017

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Eleven places from across the country have put their names forward to become the UK City of Culture in 2017, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced today.


They are, Aberdeen, Chester, Dundee, East Kent (covering Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Thanet), Hastings and Bexhill on Sea, Hull, Leicester, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, Southend on Sea, and Swansea Bay (covering Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath, and Port Talbot).

Ed Vaizey said:

This is fantastic news and shows the appetite for the prestigious ‘City of Culture’ title is in healthy supply right across the length and breadth of the country. The competition brings together communities and creates economic and social benefits and I am pleased to see so many local authorities and different partners coming together. I wish all eleven the best of luck.

All 11 places have until 30 April to submit their initial bids which will be considered by an independent advisory panel chaired by Phil Redmond. The panel will then decide on a shortlist which will be announced in June.

Phil Redmond, Chair of the independent advisory panel said:

The UK City of Culture can be a real catalyst for change and I’m delighted so many places have registered their interest in the competition for 2017. Together with the panel I’m looking forward to receiving some ambitious and dynamic bids that highlight the very best of local cultural talent, along with delivering a realistic programme that will appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

Notes to editors

  1. For interview requests with the Culture Minister or Phil Redmond please contact the DCMS press office on 0207 211 2210.
  2. Guidance on how to apply and background information including a list of members of the Independent Advisory Panel can be found here.
  3. Derry-Londonderry was named the first UK City of Culture on 15 July 2010. More information about their programme is available on their website.
  4. In their year as European City of Culture, Liverpool received 9.7 million additional visitors to the city which resulted in over £735 million in additional visitor spend. Derry-Londonderry hope to have 2800 tourism jobs by 2020 as a legacy from their year as the first UK City of Culture.

Press enquiries: 020 7211 2210