Brexit looks set to scupper Nottingham Capital of Culture bid

Nottingham’s hopes of being named 2023 European Capital of Culture have taken a heavy blow after the European Commission ruled out UK cities being given the title.

The European Commission said that the Brexit vote means that cities from the UK can no longer be the year-long host.

The news comes just weeks after Nottingham submitted a bid, along with Leeds, Dundee, Belfast and Milton Keynes.

Chairman of the Nottingham 2023 bid Paul Russ said: “Our European Capital of Culture bid has brought Nottingham together over the last few months and regardless of any outcomes we will work to implement as many of the positive actions through the city’s Strategic Cultural Framework.

“The bid team will be liaising with the DCMS over the coming days and we hope the situation can be resolved positively so that we and the other bidding cities can present next week as planned.”

A DCMS 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.

“The Prime Minister has been clear that while we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe and this has been welcomed by EU leaders.

“We want to continue working with our friends in Europe to promote the long-term economic development of our continent, which may include participating in cultural programmes.

“We remain committed to working with the five UK cities that have submitted bids to help them realise their cultural ambitions and we are in urgent discussions with the Commission on the matter.”

Nottingham has set itself a target of attracting 150 new businesses to the city on the back of the bid.

Last month, Brendan Moffett, chief executive of Marketing NG, told TheBusinessDesk: “We have based this figure on information gathered from meetings held with Hull, currently the UK City of Culture for 2017 and the business start-ups attracted to the city, which they have attributed to their UK City of Culture.”