EU bans UK from competing in European Capital of Culture due to Brexit

EU bans UK from competing in European Capital of Culture due to Brexit

The last city to win in the UK was Liverpool in 2008

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The European Commission has banned the UK from taking part in the European Capital of Culture competition due to Brexit, despite it being open to countries outside the EU.

The UK has also already started five bids for the competition in Leeds, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Dundee and a joint bid from Belfast and Derry.

Brussels sent a letter to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which stated "on grounds of sound and responsible management of human and financial resources, the Commission considers that the selection process should immediately be discontinued."

The department claimed it was "ready and fully committed" last month for one of the UK cities to become the European Capital of Culture, although when the bidding started officials did warn entrants the bidding progress would be "subject to the outcome" of Brexit talks.

However now the DCMS has said it wants to appeal the European Commission's ruling. A spokesperson said: "We disagree with the European Commission's stance and are deeply disappointed that it has waited until after UK cities have submitted their final bids before communicating this new position to us."

They added that the UK wants to continue work with Europe to "promote the long-term economic development of our continent" and added the department will carry on working with those in the UK who made bids.  

The winner of the European Capital of Culture is to be announced in 2023, according to Sky News.

The city that wins the award receives £1.3 million, however it is believed more money can be generated by the city purely on the basis of having received the accolade.

The last time the UK won the title was Liverpool in 2008 and prior to this it was Glasgow in 1990.