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Swansea Bay bids for UK City of Culture 2017

SWANSEA Bay is bidding to become UK City of Culture 2017.

image depicting Swansea Bay

The region will compete against other parts of the country like Aberdeen and Plymouth to land the coveted status.

Swansea Council has now formally submitted Swansea Bay's bid in partnership with Neath Port Talbot Council and Carmarthenshire Council.

The bid highlights the region's rich industrial heritage, pioneering universities, diverse communities and thriving contemporary art.

If the bid's successful, Swansea Bay's programme for 2017 would build on the area's strengths. Some of the programme ideas include a Pete Ham Festival for unsigned musicians, a high-tech history laboratory on the historic Hafod Copperworks site, and a children's pageant of drama, song, dance and design. It's also being proposed the region's leaders could work with the British Lions rugby management to announce the 2017 squad in Swansea Bay.

Cllr David Phillips, Swansea Council Leader, said: "Swansea Bay is an area of terrific cultural diversity that already boasts a proud industrial past, leading museums and art galleries, world class sports teams, award-winning scenery and creative, resourceful people. This provides a culture and quality of life that are second to none, helping further enrich day to day life in our communities.

"In 2017, we want the world to join us and celebrate not the culmination, but the beginning of a cultural journey. Our programme for the year would focus on the delivery of events and activities that have meaning to our existing culture, while also appealing to wider audiences.

"Sustainability is also at the heart of what we're proposing because it's vital we leave a cultural legacy for future generations."

Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: "The aim of the City of Culture initiative is to build on the enormous success of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, which had significant social and economic benefits for the area. Landing the status would also raise our reputation as a hotbed of culture, not just in the UK but across the world, helping attract more visitors and investment here in future."

In supporting the bid, Russell T Davies said: "This city has always been a crucible of talent, imagination and energy. I think it would be wonderful for the rest of the whole world to see what we have to offer."

The City of Culture initiative is administered by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The 2017 bids will now be considered by an independent advisory panel chaired by Phil Redmond, a leading TV producer and screenwriter. A shortlist will be announced in June.

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