Sunderland has missed out to Coventry on becoming the UK City of Culture 2021.
The announcement, made by Arts Minister John Glen, comes as the current UK City of Culture, Hull's year-long celebration nears an end.
People gathered at Pop Recs music store in Sunderland to hear the news, and were clearly disappointed in their reaction:
Coventry, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea were all in the running for the title, which is credited with attracting major investment to former winners.
The team behind Sunderland bid spent months trying to persuade judges that the city had what it takes to win.
It was hoped that they'd be wowed by the city's beautiful coastline and cultural assets, such as the National Glass Centre, the Empire, and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - but it just wasn't to be.
Despite losing out to Coventry, Sunderland’s cultural leaders have vowed to push ahead with a programme of ‘major cultural activities’.
“Naturally, we are disappointed,” said Rebecca Ball, Sunderland 2021 director, “but also very proud....
The Sunderland bid was backed by local and regional businesses, councils, MPs, Sunderland Football Club and local celebrities, including radio DJ Lauren Laverne, actress Melanie Hill and musician Ross Millard from the band, Futureheads.
The competition is held every four years, with Derry-Londonderry the first winner in 2013.
Despite the title, the award is not restricted only to cities, and Scottish representative Paisley is the first town to make the final shortlist.
Councillor Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, pointed out how other North East cities who have been unsuccessful in the competition in the past, had attracted huge investment regardless, and were able to introduce large-scale events and arts programmes into their cultural calendar: