Bidders revealed for third UK City of Culture in 2021

Caroline Quentin and Mark Addy in The Hypocrite, one of Hull UK City of Culture 2017's flagship productions. Photo: Pete Le May
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Sunderland, Portsmouth, Perth and Coventry are among the 11 areas bidding to be the UK City of Culture in 2021.

Hereford, Paisley, St Davids and the Hundred of Dewisland, Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea, Warrington and Wells have also entered the competition for the title.

The winner will be the third UK City of Culture after Derry-Londonderry in 2013 and Hull this year.

Final bids will be submitted by the end of April, with a shortlist to be announced in July before the eventual winner is named in December.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has committed £3 million to the eventual winner. To receive the funds, the successful city will have to demonstrate that its programme is underpinned by heritage, and builds on existing Heritage Lottery Fund investment.

Culture minister Matt Hancock said: “I am delighted to see so many bids from across the country, showing how many areas recognise the important role culture can play in the development and regeneration of communities. UK City of Culture helps boost tourism and raises the profile of arts and culture.”

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Heritage, much of which has benefitted over the past 23 years from National Lottery funding, is so important to a city’s identity, as well as making a huge contribution to tourism, jobs and the local economy.”

Earlier this week, Hull announced the second and third seasons of work for its City of Culture programme.