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EU halts European Capital of Culture bids from UK cities due to Brexit

EU halts European Capital of Culture bids from UK cities due to Brexit

European Union is going to revise the previous decision regarding the UK cities competing for the title of European Capital of Culture. Despite the launching the bids, the top officials have called a halt on the UK entries due to the Brexit results.

The European Capital of Culture contest should include five EU cities (Leeds, Nottingham, Milton Keynes and Dundee), which were all bidding for the 2023 prize, along with a joint bid from Belfast and Derry. The Brexit vote made the changes and the EU bosses ruled UK entries “will not be possible” due to the nation’s decision to leave the European Union.

The prize is open to cities in countries outside the EU, although they must be either candidate to join or nations in the European Economic Area or European Free Trade Association.

A terse letter to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) from Brussels informed UK officials “on grounds of sound and responsible management of human and financial resources, the Commission considers that the selection process should immediately be discontinued”.

EU and the UK top officials about European Capital of Culture contest

The UK is not a newcomer to the  European Capital of Culture programme, city Liverpool, which was the last UK city to hold the title in 2008, claimed it saw a return of £750m to the local economy from £170m of spending. Glasgow was the previous UK host in 1990.

After Brexit, UK is no longer able to take part in the bidding, and in October, DCMS said it was “ready and fully committed” to host the European Capital of Culture in 2023, for which UK cities were competing with rival bids in Hungary. However, British officials did warn entrants at the launch of the bidding process the title would be “subject to the outcome” of Brexit negotiations, which could affect UK participation.