Portsmouth bids to become next City of Culture

Portsmouth has launched bid to be City of Culture. Picture: Allan Hutchings.
Portsmouth has launched bid to be City of Culture. Picture: Allan Hutchings.

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A BID has been made by Portsmouth to become the next UK City of Culture.

Portsmouth City Council has expressed an interest in holding the title for 2021.

The city had applied to be named this year’s City of Culture in 2013 but lost out to Hull.

Eleven other areas including Warrington, Wells and Swansea have also expressed an interest.

Councillor Linda Symes, the council’s cabinet member for culture said: ‘Portsmouth has a diverse and thriving cultural sector with the talent to match anywhere else in the country.

‘So far we have simply registered our interest in being the UK City of Culture for 2021 and still have to develop plans around what we might do if we were successful.

‘But I’m confident we can come up with some exciting ideas and present a compelling case to the government.’

All bids have to be submitted by April with a final shortlist announced in July. The winner will then be picked in December.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has today committed £3m to the holder of the title from 2021 onwards to boost local heritage.

To unlock the funds the successful bidder will need to demonstrate their programme is underpinned by heritage and builds on existing investment.

Hull is the second city to be the City of Culture and has delivered a £60m boost its economy this year. It has also seen a £1bn investment since winning the title four years ago.

Matt Hancock, minister of state for culture, said: ‘UK City of Culture is a fantastic opportunity for towns and cities to celebrate their creativity and use culture as a catalyst for economic growth.

‘I am delighted to see so many bids from across the country, showing how many areas recognise the important role culture can play in the development and regeneration of communities.’