Norwich Could Be UK City of Culture

Norwich has been named in the final four to become the UK's first City of Culture.

The city will be up against four others to win the title.

The Cities in the running are:

  • Birmingham
  • Sheffield
  • Londonderry
  • Norwich

The eventual winner will be announced during the summer.

If Norwich is successful, it is hoped it could bring long-term economic and social benefits.

An independent advisory panel chaired by Phil Redmond, creative director of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, will review the bids and make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who will make the final decisions.

Norwich City Council and the City of Norwich Partnership are leading the bid and have been working with a number of cultural organisations, including Writers’ Centre Norwich and the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Councillor Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “I am absolutely thrilled we have made the shortlist. This is a fantastic opportunity to use culture to make a real difference to people in Norwich, to encourage stronger links between neighbourhoods and the city centre, and make sure the whole city is vibrant and culturally active.

Norwich South MP Charles Clarke said: 'It is fantastic news that Norwich has been selected for the final shortlist for the European City of Culture in 2013. I want to congratulate all those who have worked so well together to make this happen.  Our Fine City has a cultural heritage which is second to none, and that is strongly reinforced by our modern creativity and vibrance.  We would be worthy winners so let's keep up the good work and win the final accolade'

Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, said:  'This is great news.  I am absolutely delighted for our city to have been so successful so far in this contest.  We are a vibrant city with longstanding cultural prominence – in our theatres, music, independent cinema, visual arts, architecture, open spaces and so much more.  We are a thriving city which people love living in.  We are going from strength to strength as the heart of the Norfolk and regional economy.  If we won this accolade we would do the country proud as the next City of Culture.  I congratulate City Hall and its partners on this inspiring achievement so far.'

What happens next?

End of Febuary – All cities will receive feedback on their initial bids. Full and final bidding guidance for shortlisted cities will be published.

End of May – The deadline for full and final bid documentation from the short-listed cities.

Summer – The Advisory Panel will receive presentations from the shortlisted cities and will make their final recommendation to the Secretary of State for the winner of UK City of Culture in 2013.