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Five in contention to be UK City of Culture 2021

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Coventry, Paisley, Stoke, Sunderland or Swansea will be named as the UK City of Culture 2021 later this year after making the shortlist for the award.

The winner will be revealed in December 2017, and will become the third UK City of Culture following Derry-Londonderry and Hull, and will receive a £3m (US$3.9m, €3.4m) Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant.

An independent advisory panel chaired by Phil Redmond has whittled down the shortlist to five after 11 towns and cities submitted bids.

As a result, Hereford, Perth, Portsmouth, St David’s and the Hundred of Dewisland, Warrington and Wells missed out.

Redmond said that all 11 bids showed “quality, commitment and enthusiasm”.

“The appetite for using culture to bring about regeneration and to strengthen communities is clearly stronger than ever,” he added.

“Overall, the panel thought that five cities’ bids showed the potential to deliver a UK City of Culture 2021.”

John Glen, minister for arts, heritage and tourism, said the bids demonstrated “diversity and cultural ambition”.

The shortlisted areas will now be invited to submit a final bid by the end of September for the panel to scrutinise ahead of the December announcement.

Hull, the current City of Culture, has seen £60m (US$78.4m, €68.3m) flow into the local economy due to events marking the year. Around £1bn (US$1.3bn, €1.1bn) has been invested in the town since it was awarded the title in 2013.

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Coventry, Paisley, Stoke, Sunderland or Swansea will be named as the UK City of Culture 2021 later this year after making the shortlist for the award.
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Hull is the current UK City of Culture / Danny Lawson/PA Wire/PA Images
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