These are the 11 Places That Think They Should be 'UK City of Culture'

By Holly Brockwell on at

The government's announced the eleven places that applied to be the UK's third City of Culture (after Derry/Londonderry and... Hull) for 2021.

The places that think they're, like, well cultured are:

  • Coventry
  • Hereford
  • Paisley
  • Perth
  • Portsmouth
  • St David’s and the Hundred of Dewisland [no one does place names like Wales does place names]
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Sunderland
  • Swansea
  • Warrington
  • Wells

The winning city will receive £3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to "boost local heritage."

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, apparently unsarcastically commented "This list shows there is clearly a great deal of enthusiasm among the UK’s cities for celebrating their unique culture."

Hull has been enjoying renewed success since winning the second-ever City of Culture title in 2013, receiving a £60m economic boost this year as a result. It's also had £1bn of investment since its win, and put on 365 days of cultural events to celebrate.

The 11 cities will be cut down to a shortlist by summer, and the winner will be announced in December.

We're backing Coventry, birthplace of grumpy poet Philip Larkin. Watching him look at the city out of a train window, his friend once remarked: "You look as though you wished the place in Hell... judging from your face." Larkin, ever the sweetheart, put the line in a poem so everyone knew just how highly he thought of his hometown. Coventry council then put an excerpt of the poem on a plaque, cleverly missing out all the bits - 90% of the poem - that make it clear he didn't like it there. That's the kind of ingenuity we need from our City of Culture.

Main image: Amanda Slater via Flickr Creative Commons