UK loses Capital of Culture 2023

The European Commission has withdrawn the UK’s right to have European Capital of Culture in 2023 because of Brexit.

Five cities – Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes and a joint bid from Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Strabane – were hoping to following in the footsteps of Glasgow (1990) and Liverpool (2008).

But the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has been informed that a UK European City of Culture post-Brexit “would not be possible” and that the selection process should “immediately be discontinued”.

A DCMS spokeswoman said the government was deeply disappointed. "The prime minister has been clear that while we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe and this has been welcomed by EU leaders” she said. "We want to continue working with our friends in Europe to promote the long-term economic development of our continent, which may include participating in cultural programmes”. 

However, there are attempts to reverse the decision under way, she added. "We remain committed to working with the five UK cities that have submitted bids to help them realise their cultural ambitions and we are in urgent discussions with the Commission on the matter".


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