Sunderland is amongst five cities to be shortlisted to host UK City of Culture 2021.
The announcement comes following a meeting of the independent advisory panel chaired by Phil Redmond.
Of the eleven towns and cities that registered bids for UK City of Culture 2021, five have been shortlisted for the prestigious award.
The five towns and cities are:
In December 2017, either Coventry, Paisley, Stoke, Sunderland or Swansea will be named the third UK City of Culture, following in the footsteps of Derry-Londonderry and Hull.
Hull is the current City of Culture and its programme includes 365 days of cultural events. It is estimated that City of Culture has brought a boost of £60 million to the local economy in 2017.
Nine out of 10 residents have attended, or taken part in, an event as part of Hull 2017 and the city has seen over £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013.
The winner of UK City of Culture 2021 will also have access to a £3 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
The shortlisted areas will now be invited to submit a final bid by the end of September. The panel will assess the final bids from the shortlisted cities before a winner is announced in December.
The unsuccessful areas will each receive detailed feedback on their bids. Ministers and officials will also engage with them on how best they could realise their ambitions for widespread recognition for their cultural offer.