Bid to be City of Culture submitted today

IPSWICH and the Haven Gateway will today submit a bid to become the UK's City of Culture for 2013.

Paul Geater

IPSWICH and the Haven Gateway will today submit a bid to become the UK's City of Culture for 2013.

If successful, the unique bid could see a host of top events, extra investment and greater visitor numbers heading to the region.

The Ipswich and the Haven Gateway bid will go up against 20 other cities and regions for the honour.

If it wins the bid, the area could host high-profile events including the Turner Prize, BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the Brit Awards in 2013, bringing extra income and visitors to the region.

The bid, which was launched at a special ceremony yesterday, unites Ipswich and Colchester - the main urban areas of the Haven Gateway - as well as the surrounding rural and coastal communities.

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It also includes three of the region's cultural hubs - Aldeburgh Music, the Jerwood Dance House in Ipswich and FirstSite art gallery in Colchester.

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the Haven Gateway Partnership, said: “The bid will be built around a vibrant and challenging artistic program rooted in the rich heritage of the Haven Gateway and its landscapes and seascape.

“This has inspired - and continues to inspire - artists such as Constable, Benjamin Britten and Maggi Hambling.

“The program will acknowledge the unique maritime influence on the sub-region through the development of a major festival celebrating the coast and rivers.”

Judy Terry, Portfolio Holder for Arts, Culture and Leisure at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “This is a strong bid from an area that has so much to offer in terms of arts and culture.

“We will be building on existing highlights such as ip-Art, Constable Country and the three cultural hubs.”

The other cities and regions in the running for the title are: Aberdeen, Barnsley, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Cheshire West and Chester, Chichester, Cornwall, Derry, Durham, Gloucester and Cheltenham, Hull and East Yorkshire, Lancaster, Manchester\Salford, Norwich, Pennine Lancashire, Portsmouth and Southampton, Sheffield, Southend-on-Sea, Swansea Bay, and Wakefield.

It's expected that a shortlist of five will be announced in January or February 2010 with final bids being submitted in May next year.


1. The UK's City of Culture competition will be held every four years to give areas other than London a chance to hold top events.

2. The contest was set up by the Government earlier this year to replicate the European City of Culture competition which started in 1985.

3. Liverpool was named as European City of Culture for 2008 - which resulted in almost �800 million being generated for the local economy and 3.5 million people visiting the city.

4. Previous winners of the European City of Culture have included Lisbon, Madrid, Paris and Dublin.