Twelve Cities Named in Bid to Be Crowned European Capital of Culture; IDENTITY: To Win Cities Must Show How They Plan to Use the Arts to Regenerate the Local Economy, Boost Education and Tackle Social Exclusion
TWELVE British cities have entered the race to be crowned European Capital of Culture, the Government announced.
The winning city will hold the title in 2008 and will stage a year-long cultural programme promoting the local area.
The final deadline for entries passed at the weekend and the 12 cities have all sent in detailed proposals.
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said, "It is an outstanding honour to be chosen European Capital of Culture.
"Not only does it provide an enormous boost to the local economy through increased tourism and employment, but it lifts the city's self confidence and belief and provides a national and international platform on which to promote the city."
Ms Jowell said each of the entries showed "enormous cultural potential".
She said, "I hope that they will all be able to build on the work they have done so far, in order to make a permanent difference to their standing."
An independent panel will whittle the 12 finalists down to a shortlist in the autumn, each of which will be designated the title Centre of Culture. …