Brexit means Nottingham will not be 2023 European Capital of Culture

24 November, 2017, 01:46 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Wroclaw in Poland the European Capital of Culture last year

A spokesperson for the European Commission's Scotland office confirmed this to The Evening Telegraph.

However, in a letter to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport obtained by Politico, the Commission said that the UK's continued participation "will not be possible".

Although non European Union members Norway and Iceland have hosted the Capital of Culture before, these countries were members of the EEA.

The bid had been backed by our columnist Lorraine Kelly.

Britain had been due to have one of its cities designated European capital of culture, along with one in Hungary, in 2023.

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Click below to read the full story from our sister title The Evening Telegraph.

It therefore makes sense to discontinue the selection process.

The DCMS said it was "deeply disappointed" with the decision and that it was now engaged in "urgent discussions" with European Commission officials to try and resolve the situation.

Chairman of the Nottingham 2023 bid Paul Russ said: "Our European Capital of Culture bid has brought Nottingham together over the last few months and regardless of any outcomes we will work to implement as numerous positive actions through the city's Strategic Cultural Framework".

However sources suggested there was already a huge amount of disappointment, and anger that cities like Leeds are being used as a "Brexit bargaining chip" in a wider political game.

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Britain was due to hold the title in 2023, and five British cities and regions were competing to be chosen - Nottingham, Leeds and Milton Keynes in England, Dundee in Scotland and a joint bid by Belfast, Londonderry and Strabane in Northern Ireland.

"The timing is disrespectful not only to the citizens of Dundee, but to people from all five bidding cities who have devoted so much time, effort and energy so far in this competition".

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 United Kingdom participation.

"The bid team will be liaising with the DCMS over the coming days and we hope the situation can be resolved positively so that we and the other bidding cities can present next week as planned".

"While the dust is still to settle on what is a bombshell for all of us, the spirit of the bid remains very much alive and kicking".

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