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Hastings and Bexhill bid to be UK capital of culture

Posted on Wednesday, 6 March by

DLWP Bexhill Culture Capital

Hastings and Bexhill-on-sea are amongst eleven places in Britain to have put their names forward to become the UK City of Culture in 2017.

The government-led programme is inspired by Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, with Lononderry the current UK City of Culture, the first place to be awarded the honour. A ‘Capital of Culture’ is named every four years, and the longlist for 2017 was announced today by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Competing with the twinned bid of Hastings and Bexhill are Chester, East Kent, Hull, Leicester, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Swansea Bay and Aberdeen and Dundee. Full bids for the title must be completed by April, after which they will be assessed by an independent panel and a final shortlist will be revealed in June.

Hastings has been revitalised by the opening of the Jerwood Gallery last year, while the £11.4m restoration of Hastings Pier is well underway. Bexhill continues to be a cultural hub of the south east, with the De La Warr Pavilion carrying art exhibitions by Andy Warhol and Anthony Gormley in recent years.

Leader of Hastings Borough Council councillor Jeremy Birch said: “The Hastings area is becoming a cultural beacon in the South East and nationally, and we have every justification aiming for the city of culture status in four years time. This town is on the way up; let the whole country recognise that.”

Announcing the list of contenders, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The competition brings together communities and creates economic and social benefits and I am pleased to see so many local authorities and different partners coming together.”

The winner will be announced this November in Londonderry.

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Corey Pellatt
22-year-old editor of SQ Magazine and Media Studies student at the University of Sussex. Freelance writer for clients including BHAFC.

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