Perth is currently the bookie's favourite to win the competition. Image: Robin Fernandes, reused under Creative Commons Licence

Perth becomes fifth contender to launch UK City of Culture bid

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 24.08.2016
Stiff competition as cities vie to host 2021 festival
Perth has become the latest city to throw its hat into the ring in the competition to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

The city in central Scotland launched its bid last week by staging a public gathering outside Perth City Hall featuring music, dance and costume.

Four other cities have so far put themselves in the running to host the year-long cultural festival, including Sunderland in north-east England, Stoke-on-Trent and Coventry in the West Midlands, and Paisley in the Scottish lowlands.

Cardiff and Milton Keynes are also thought to be considering bids, according to a BBC report.

Since the bid was announced, the bookie William Hill has named Perth as an early favourite to win the competition, which is judged by a panel at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in consultation with administrations in the devolved nations. The final decision rests with the culture secretary Karen Bradley.
 
The UK City of Culture festival was created by the DCMS to build on Liverpool’s successful year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, using culture as a driving force for social and economic regeneration.

Derry-Londonderry was the first city to be awarded the title in 2013. More than a million people visited the Northern Irish city that year, with associated expenditure rising by 86%. The council estimates that every £1 it spent on the festival brought a £5 return.

The winning city will be announced in spring next year at a ceremony in Hull, which is about to begin its year as UK City of Culture 2017.

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