Birmingham shortlisted for city of culture crown

By on 24/02/2010 in Culture, News

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has revealed that Birmingham has successfully made the shortlist for the first UK City of Culture title in 2013.

The bid, developed by the Birmingham Cultural Partnership (BCP), is set within the theme of Big City Culture and reflects Birmingham's status as a global city with a world class programme of cultural activities, with a rich and diverse local heart established within its communities.

Responding to the news, Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chairman of the BCP, said: “To have got so far against tough opposition from across the UK is a fantastic boost for Birmingham.  But this is just the first stage and we're not getting carried away.

“There's a lot of hard work ahead and now we want people across the city to play a part as we put together the final bid that will mean Birmingham is named the UK's first ever City of Culture.

“This is very much a Birmingham bid, not just a City Council bid, and we are keen to involve as many people across the city as possible. As we move into the final decisive stage of the selection process, we still want to hear your ideas on .”

Leader of the Council, Councillor Mike Whitby added: “To be named UK City of Culture would represent a massive economic boost, not only for Birmingham but for the region as a whole.

“This title is worth an estimated £200 million to the regional economy and would create thousands of jobs whilst offering us the chance to showcase Birmingham as a global cultural centre.

“Birmingham already has a strong cultural reputation and this title would further enhance that reputation while supporting our long term drive to increase cultural participation across the city.”

Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Birmingham Hippodrome, said: “This is fantastic news for culture in the city and I know that all our cultural organisations are supporting the bid and are right behind this whole process. 

“Making the shortlist will give us great impetus to really pull out all the stops and win the title in the summer. Winning will be such a huge boost for us in terms of profiling are offer both inside and outside the city and have an immense impact on the opportunities for all arts and cultural organisations across Birmingham.”

The list of fourteen bidders has now been whittled down to just 4 by an independent panel, who assessed applications against a set of criteria such as the quality of the programme and its ability to reach a wide range of people; the use of culture to lead to lasting social regeneration; being able to demonstrable an economical impact and the creation of a legacy beyond 2013.

The other shortlisted cities are Sheffield, Norwich and Derry and the last stage of the bidding process now begins with final bids to be submitted to DCMS at the end of May.  The winning city will be announced during the summer.


Further information can be obtained from Lorraine Donovan on 0121 303 0458.

Notes to editors

Members of the public can continue to submit ideas of what they would like to see happen in 2013 at or by writing to the UK City of Culture, Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH.

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There Are 6 Brilliant Comments

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  1. JJ says:

    And the others on the shortlist are…?

  2. Neil Mc says:

    Shouldn’t this announcement also include the names of the other three shortlisted cities? Is this because Birminham is so confident, or that it doesn’t want to think about the others?

    • SimonH says:

      Neil – good point – at the time we issued the release we had not been informed by Government of who else was on the shortlist except ourselves – but added this info above as soon as we were told

  3. Paul says:

    Didn’t we miss out on the European Capital of Culture to Liverpool because the bidders went for the ‘big city’ approach and ignored the grassroots?

  4. Francis McCarthy says:

    It might be a good idea to recognise Enoch Powell, Kenneth Tynan and Toyah Wilcox on your famous brummies site.

  5. Kavan Hawker says:

    Fantastic to see Birmingham’s bid. Time we had a chance to show off our culture and build on our existing cultural and arts facilities.

    It’s a shame to see the negative comments that have been posted on here, I hope in due time these people will come to see the advantages of placing in our bid for this prestigious title and realise the benefits that will come from it.

    I am sure that we make a fantastic cultural city, especially as this has been cultivated from the grass-roots and there is proof of this from our “City of Culture” Website and the unit in the Bull Ring Shopping Cenrtre which has given prime exposure of works, from hundreds of local artists and individuals.