Leicester City of Culture 2017 is looking like it could become a reality with Leicester through to the next round and we’re up against some stiff competition.
The cut killed off City of Culture 2017 bids from Chester, East Kent, Hastings and Bexhill on Sea, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, and Southend-on-Sea leaving Leicester’s City of Culture 2017 bid up against Dundee, Hull (our favourite and one that the Guardian take particular interest in here) and Swansea Bay.
We’ve already covered the full contenders list in previous posts (have a look at the Dundee overview here, Hull’s chances here and Swansea Bay’s overview here) and also taken the time to look at what Leicester has to offer to gain the City of Culture 2017 gong.
Now the real work starts for Leicester, and it’s time for the city to prove to both itself and the rest of the UK that it has the breadth and depth of culture to sustain an engaging and attractive cultural narrative.
Culture minister Ed Vaizey said: “I want to congratulate the four shortlisted cities who have made it this far, and indeed all 11 cities who put time and great effort into submitting bids.” and “It brings together communities, encourages economic growth, and inspires social change and the shortlisted cities should be very proud of the bids they have put together so far.”
Local Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth, who has been vocal in supporting Leicester’s City of Culture 2017 bid during a Parliamentary debate, said: “I think Leicester’s case to be City of Culture is overwhelming.” and “It would be a travesty if Leicester did not make it on to the shortlist.” and went on to say “I have attended a number of festivals in my patch recently, all organised from the grassroots up, that show culture is thriving in the city.”
Speaking from personal experience, Leicester is most definitely experiencing some what of a purple patch at the moment. Far from being the small, dreary grey little city many try to make it out to be, Leicester is bubbling with events and activities that make living here a real pleasure. Take a quick look at the council’s list of events to get just a tiny flavour of what’s on in out city.
Thankfully, MP Jon Ashworth’s ‘travesty’ has been well and truly averted and now we fix our eyes on the horizon. Who’s going to win, who knows, the bookies are already putting the favourite odds on Swansea Bay’s bid at 4/1 pushing Leicester into second place.
Leicester’s own Mayor, Peter Soulsby was more positive when asked for his opinion on Leicester’s bid when he said: “We’re down to those final four and we’re determined to make sure we are the 2017 City of Culture.” Now that sounds like a man who is on a mission to succeed. More here.
The big countdown starts now with the City of Culture 2017 winning venue due to be announced in November.