City of Culture team defend decision to submit joint bid

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THE team behind a bid for Portsmouth and Southampton to become the city of culture have defended their decision to submit a bid.

Organisers of the UK City of Culture in 2017 questioned the logic of a joint bid between the two cities. The official feedback said combined events would be well-resourced, but the ‘logic and added value’ of a joint application was not clear.

Swansea Bay, Dundee, Hull and Leicester made the final shortlist instead.

It comes after Councillor Lee Hunt revealed at yesterday’s full council meeting that it cost £6,300 to get the application together.

The figure takes into account publicity and the time council officers put into the project. He said: ‘The officers were devastated that this didn’t work.

‘The government doesn’t see us as a deprived city. It sees us as that wider south coast thing and I think that goes against us.’

In a joint statement from Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council, the team said: ‘We felt it was important to go for the City of Culture title as both cities have so much to offer. If we had won the benefits would have been huge, so we had to give it a try.

‘Our joint bid was praised for being deliverable and realistic.’