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Worcester MP backs City of Culture bid for 2021
WORCESTER'S MP is backing a potential bid for City of Culture status - saying it would be an "incredible" achievement.
Robin Worcester says the city's links with Sir Edward Elgar, the £10 million cultural quarter planned at the old Royal Worcester Porcelain site and the literary festival are just three reasons why the city has a chance.
He has also raised the stakes further by suggesting Worcester's bid could be made even stronger by linking it with south Worcestershire as a whole, to take advantage of other nearby attractions like the Malvern Hills.
As your Worcester News revealed yesterday, the city council is considering talks with various other bodies around a bid for 2021.
Mr Walker said: "I think it's a fantastic idea, we've got a great cultural offer, especially when you consider our links with Elgar, the cultural quarter, the literary festival and so on.
"The challenge is that we are likely to be competing with bigger cities, but we should never be afraid to punch above our weight.
"It would incredibly valuable in terms of tourism, so it's great we are showing this ambition.
"One thought I had might be to make the bid 'Worcester and south Worcestershire', so we can draw it out a bit and showcase the county."
The award is dished out every four years and the last winner is Hull, which is City of Culture for 2017.
Hull is estimated to benefit from at least £60 million of new economic activity in 2017, and millions more from tourism in the years running up to it.
It also emerged yesterday that the suggestion of Worcester making a 2021 bid first emerged from Peter Pawsey, chairman of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.
He said: "I'm delighted they've picked it up, it means everyone now has a clear focus.
"If we can get to the stage where we're all working on a bid, just the fact so many people will be pulling in the same direction will put Worcester and the whole county in a stronger position."
The Government is expected to draw up a final shortlist of four cities for the 2021 City of Culture, and will announce the winner in 2017.
Hull defeated Swansea, Leicester and Aberdeen last November.
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