Portsmouth misses out on shortlist for UK City of Culture 2021 title

Portsmouth has failed in its bid to become City of Culture
Portsmouth has failed in its bid to become City of Culture
Airmen and  officers pose for the camera on and around a Lancaster bomber.

NOSTALGIA: Wings across the Tarmac – the legendary Lancaster bomber

  • Portsmouth not included in five-city shortlist for 2021 title
  • Tens of millions could have been brought in to city through title
  • Culture boss plans to reapply in future
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PORTSMOUTH has missed out on the chance to be the UK’s next City of Culture.

It has been announced tonight that the city’s bid for the lucrative 2021 title had been rejected by the government.

Yes, there is a tinge of disappointment about missing out but we will indeed be reapplying again in the future

Councillor Linda Symes

Of the eleven cities that had bid, Sunderland, Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea, Coventry and Paisley were named in the final shortlist.

The announcement came following a meeting of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s independent advisory panel.

Councillor Linda Symes, the city council’s cabinet member for culture vowed to bid in the future following the disappointment.

She said: ‘Yes, there is a tinge of disappointment about missing out but we will indeed be reapplying again in the future.

‘You have to be in these things in order to win them!’

Cllr Symes admitted that the council had not been as hopeful in recent weeks that the city would make the final shortlist, adding: ‘I think we realised recently that we would probably not end up short listed and that cities in the north would have a better chance.

‘We have been very lucky with funding in the past and so we will keep on pushing to highlight the city’s fantastic in the coming years.’

It marks the second time Portsmouth has failed to make the shortlist after it was previously knocked back in it’s joint bid with Southampton for the 2017 title four years ago.

Hull were the winners on that occasion with £60m set to be brought into the city through a variety of cultural celebrations over this year and an investment of over £1bn since it won the title.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of the council said: ‘Yes, we are disappointed but it is not a shock that we have not been short listed.

‘However, the city will be providing a wide range of cultural activities in the next year, such as the re-opening of the D-Day Museum and celebrations to mark the anniversary of the First World War centenary.’

Phil Redmond, chair of the panel said: ‘The appetite for using culture to bring about regeneration and to strengthen communities is clearly stronger than ever. Overall, the panel thought that the five cities’ bids showed the potential to deliver a UK City of Culture 2021 programme.

The winning city for 2021 will be named this December.