In their year as European City of Culture, Liverpool received 9.7 million additional visitors to the city which resulted in over £735 million in additional visitor spend.
Meanwhile Derry-Londonderry hopes to have 2800 tourism jobs by 2020 as a legacy from their year.
Phil Redmond, Chair of the independent advisory panel said: “The UK City of Culture can be a real catalyst for change and I’m delighted so many places have registered their interest in the competition for 2017.
"Together with the panel I’m looking forward to receiving some ambitious and dynamic bids that highlight the very best of local cultural talent, along with delivering a realistic programme that will appeal to as wide an audience as possible.”
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Motoring groups are calling for better information for road users after thousands of motorists were trapped on the M3 in Hampshire.
Dry with sunny spells and feeling warm.
Risk of rain in the west today, elsewhere dry with sunny spells.