Those bidding for City of Culture status will be considered by an independent advisory panel.
It's hoped that the winning location will see a boost in visitors and future investment.
The panel will decide on a shortlist which will be announced in June.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said: "The competition brings together communities and creates economic and social benefits and I am pleased to see so many local authorities and different partners coming together. I wish all eleven the best of luck.”
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The expansion of the probe came as Jeremy Corbyn declared Carillion's demise a "watershed moment" that should end "rip-off privatisation".
Tuesday afternoon's weather for the west of the region
Tuesday afternoon's weather for the east of the region