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  1. ITV Report

Milton Keynes submits bid to become European Capital of Culture

Milton Keynes has submitted its bid to become European Capital of Culture.

The town is hoping to become the youngest ever recipient of the award, having only been built in the 1960s.

With both Hungary and the UK due to be awarded the title in 2023, Milton Keynes will have to see off competition from Dundee, Leeds, Belfast and Nottingham.

The Milton Keynes Capital of Culture bid team celebrate submitting their application. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"We are here to smash the idea once and for all that this is a city of gimmicks," Ann Limb, the Chair of the Milton Keynes Capital of Culture bid told ITV News Anglia.

"This is a serious city, built on design principles with a real creative and artistic vision for the future that engaged international artists with local people when the city was founded 50 years ago."

Experts estimate at least 500 jobs will be created through the Capital of Culture bid, while £200 million could be pumped into the local economy in the next decade.

One stumbling block though could be that Britain will have left the European Union by then, and the government has warned that the contest "may be subject to the outcome of those exit negotiations".

However, it's not unheard of for a non-EU city to be given the accolade, with previous winners including Istanbul in 2010 and Stavanger (Norway) in 2008, and people in Milton Keynes are determined to make the most of their big chance.

Denmark's Aarhus (left) and Paphos in Cyrpus are the current holders. Credit: PA

"As Milton Keynes comes of age in its 50th year - you just need to look in this city, our theatre, our gallery, our orchestra, our football team," Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster said.

"We have so much to offer and that's why I know that people will come to Milton Keynes and help celebrate."

The winning bid is due to be announced in 2019.