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Nottingham 2023: your questions answered

EARLIER this month, Nottingham confirmed its intention to bid for European Capital of Culture 2023.

As well as excitement, the announcement has raised a number of questions from the public and local businesses. Here, we answer some of the most common queries.

What is the European Capital of Culture?

The European Capital of Culture programme was launched in 1985 and is managed by the European Commission, it is an annual competition in which cities from two selected European countries bid for the title.

In 2023 both the UK and Hungary will host a European Capital of Culture. Currently, Belfast, Dundee, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Nottingham are all in the running for the UK award.

How do cities benefit from being a European Capital of Culture?

The European Capital of Culture is known for bringing tourism, jobs and investment into the awarded city.

Paul Russ, chairman of both the Cultural Strategic Partnership and Nottingham 2023 board, said: “If you look at previous European Capital of Culture processes and cities that have won the award, it’s brought hundreds of millions in economic impact to the city in the long-term.

“It’s important not just to see this as one year but a five to 10-year vision in terms of the lead-up and legacy to transform this city, attract investment and increase resources and jobs.”

When Liverpool hosted the contest in 2008, it attracted 9.7 million1 additional visits to the city – a 34 per cent rise1 on the previous year. These visits generated an additional direct visitor spend of more than £750m1 across Liverpool, Merseyside and the wider North West region.

Paul continued: “As part of the bid, we want to give everyone in Nottingham the opportunity to take part in a project, production or experience and nurture the next generation of creative producers and cultural leaders. Culture is for everyone and winning the bid will help us to provide the public, and visitors, with greater opportunities to experiences the arts and creative activities as well as foster a greater sense of civic pride in the city.”

How can Nottingham bid for Capital of Culture 2023 – won’t we have left the EU by then?

The UK was announced as a host for the 2023 event before the Brexit vote last year, but it is expected that the award will be honoured.

Karen Bradley, Culture Secretary, said: "Celebrating the cultural heritage and innovation in Britain's cities is part of our plan for an outward-looking, globally-minded and dynamic country.

"The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe. We want that relationship to reflect the kind of mature, co-operative relationship that close friends and allies enjoy."

Three non-EU cities have held the title in the past - Istanbul in 2010, Stavanger in Norway in 2008 and Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2000.

How can I get involved in the Nottingham 2023 bid?

Backing the bid is simple: you can pledge your support by simply signing up with your name and email address. Follow the bid on social media @Nottingham2023 and become a ‘Cultural Lion’ by submitting your thoughts and ideas for the bid via the Nottingham 2023 website.

For more information and to show your support visit


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