UK Culture Secretary, Maria Miller says Swansea were 'pipped at the post' by UK City of Culture winners' Hull. But despite not being successful, those behind Swansea's bid say many of the planned cultural events will still take place. Dean Thomas reports.
David Phillips is the leader of Swansea Council. He believes Swansea IS a Capital of Culture, despite not being given the official title this morning.
Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith says that Swansea 'remains one of our great cultural centres' despite not being chosen as City of Culture.
The disappointing news that Swansea narrowly missed out on the City of Culture award does nothing to diminish the fact that the City remains one of our great cultural centres in Wales and beyond.
The brilliant bid put forward by the City will have served to remind people of that fact right across the World and I am sure that it will have played a part in increasing visitor numbers, especially next year, during the centenary celebrations for the City’s greatest literary son, Dylan Thomas.
– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary
His ugly, lovely town, crawling, sprawling by the side of a long and splendid curving shore will go from strength to strength, of that there is no doubt.
Mal Pope is the ambassador for the Swansea City of Culture bid. He said the campaign has been beneficial to the city, despite the result.
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones said:
“As much as today’s announcement will come as disappointing news to those who have supported Swansea Bay’s bid, they should be rightly proud of all that they have achieved.
The ‘Cwtch the Bid’ campaign was an inspiring effort that spread beyond a city and a region; it was an effort that galvanised the support and imaginations of people all across the country."
“We must now capitalise on the passion and commitment that this campaign has roused. With a whole year of celebrations planned in 2014 to mark the centenary of the birth of Swansea’s most famous son, Dylan Thomas, the region will still have its time to shine as a cultural powerhouse in Wales."
Commenting on the announcement, Suzy Davies AM, Shadow Minister for Heritage, said:
“The quality of Swansea Bay’s bid for the UK City of Culture title was recognised by being shortlisted as one of the top four contenders, which was a fantastic achievement.
Yes, we are disappointed, but that creative spirit, which made the Bay bid unique will still contribute to a rich cultural future for the area. I heartily congratulate the organisers of Cwtch the Bid and everyone who has played their part in raising Swansea Bay’s profile as a cultural hub.”
Swansea came so close. We had Dylan Thomas, Hull had Larkin. Was even until the Housemartins pushed them over the top. #cwtchthebid
Swansea Bay has lost out to Hull to become the UK City of Culture 2017.
The Culture Secretary Maria Miller made the announcement in Westminster this morning.
Hull faced stiff competition from the other three shortlisted cities, Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay, but was declared the winner on the advice of the independent expert advisory panel chaired by Phil Redmond.
The UK City of Culture first started in 2010 with Derry-Londonderry chosen as UK City of Culture for 2013 and is a hotly contested accolade.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller said:
“This is brilliant news for Hull and everyone involved in the bid there. This year’s UK City of Culture demonstrates the huge benefits that the title brings.
These include encouraging economic growth, inspiring social change and bringing communities together. I hope Hull’s plans will make the most of all that being UK City of Culture can bring."
Good luck Swansea #CwtchTheBid
The winner of the prestigious UK City of Culture 2017 will be announced later this morning at 07:45am.
Swansea Bay, along with Hull, Dundee and Leicester are all in the running for the prestigious title.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller recently told ITV News:
"The UK City of Culture scheme gives communities the opportunity to come together and to be able to really understand what makes them unique - that's the power of the scheme and I wish Swansea every bit of luck"
Russell T Davies, the television producer and screenwriter who famously revived 'Dr Who' is hoping Swansea Bay will win the City of Culture 2017 title and thinks it will be a great opportunity for those living in the area:
"There are so many people in this region who have songs in their hearts, or plays or stories. Give them a platform and all the ideas will come tumbling out.
"We need to walk taller and feel proud of our city and our region. If I had a billion pounds to spend on Swansea I’d revitalise the seafront and get the Mumbles train working again."