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West Midlands contenders for UK City of Culture

Credit: Coventry City Council.

Coventry, Hereford and Stoke-on-Trent are the three Midlands locations to join 8 others from around the country hoping to be named the UK City of Culture for 2021.

The winner to be announced in December is promised a year of cultural attractions and a boost to their local economies.

This year's winner will be the third holder of the title following Londonderry in 2013 and Hull this year, all contenders will be whittled down to a shortlist in the summer. Culture minister Matt Hancock said:

"UK City of Culture is a fantastic opportunity for towns and cities to celebrate their creativity and use culture as a catalyst for economic growth. I am delighted to see so many bids from across the country, showing how many areas recognise the important role culture can play in the development and regeneration of communities."

– Culture minister Matt Hancock.


Could Worcester become City of Culture 2021?

Worcester was recently flooded Credit: Richard Vernalls/PA Wire

Worcester City Council is considering bidding to become a City of Culture in 2021. Last year Hull beat Leicester to be named City of Culture for 2017.

The leader of Worcester City Council said:

“Worcester’s past, present and future are steeped in rich and varied cultural traditions - we are totally committed to supporting the arts and creating more opportunities for local, national and international audiences to experience them in our city.

Worcester has a proven track record of delivering high quality, well-attended events. The full programme of activities planned for 2014 and 2015 would provide a strong platform from which to launch our bid to be City of Culture 2021.”

Coventry could bid to be City of Culture 2021

Coventry could make a bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2021 and European Capital of Culture two years later.

Coventry Cathedral Credit: ITV News Central

The city council has agreed at a meeting to investigate what the cultural and economic benefits would be for the city.

It is thought Hull's status as the next UK City of Culture could boost the city by £60million.

Read more: Was Leicester 'too good' to be next City of Culture?

School praises Leicester after City of Culture bid fails

Children from Leicester High School for Girls still support the city Credit: Leicester High School for Girls

Children from Leicester High School for Girls have declared their support for the city, following the disappointment of missing out on becoming UK City of Culture 2017.

Leicester lost out to Hull when the decision was announced this morning.


Hard work will continue in Leicester

The hard work carried out in Leicester during the UK City of Culture bid process will continue, despite missing out on the title, according to the CEO of the city’s Curve Theatre.

Whilst today’s announcement is a huge disappointment, this process has enabled a great deal of innovative and exciting partnership working which will continue.

A huge amount of hard work and goodwill went into this bid, and it brought together a lot of people in a way that has not happened before, so we are determined to continue that good work regardless of today's result.

– Fiona Allan, CEO of Curve Theatre, and City of Culture board member

The chief executive of the company behind 'Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival also added his disappointment at missing out with the bid:

I have lived and worked in this city for 20 years and I know how many people were supporting the bid and shared the enthusiasm around Leicester becoming UK City of Culture in 2017.

Our job is to continue building on this support and to identify how culture can continue to benefit the city of Leicester.

– Geoff Rowe, chief executive, Big Difference Company

The leader of Leicestershire county Council has backed the people in the city to benefit from the work put in to the bid:

Leicester really deserved to win this. However, we can still make sure that people in the city and county benefit from this by building on the huge amount of work already done to show the rest of the country what we have to offer.

– Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council
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