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19 June 2013, 11:42 | Updated: 19 June 2013, 11:47
Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay make the shortlist out of a list of 11 UK towns and cities.
Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay are in the running to become UK City of Culture 2017, it was announced today. Beating the likes of Bexhill on Sea, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, and Southend-on-Sea, one of the four shortlisted destinations will follow on from this year's UK city, Derry-Londonderry, taking the crown in four years' time.
The initiative builds on the success of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, which saw a series of artistic and cultural initiatives brought social and economic benefits to the city. This year has seen a range of events take place in the city, ranging from film, music, art, and dance shows.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "I want to congratulate the 4 shortlisted cities who have made it this far, and indeed all 11 cities who put time and great effort into submitting bids. The events in Derry-Londonderry over recent weeks highlight just how much of an impact being ‘City of Culture’ can have. It brings together communities, encourages economic growth, and inspires social change and the shortlisted cities should be very proud of the bids they have put together so far."
The four shortlisted cities will be invited to submit a final bid by the end of September 2013. The winner will be announced in November.
Picture: Hull city centre