Cardiff eyes cultural prize

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According to news reports in Wales, Cardiff is considering entering the race to become Britain's first City of Culture in 2011.

According to news reports in Wales, Cardiff is considering entering the race to become Britain's first City of Culture in 2011, if government plans to introduce such an accolade are implemented. The UK's culture secretary, Andy Burnham, announced the concept during a speech he made in Liverpool in January 2009 and said that a panel will discuss the pros and cons of such an award and how frequently it would be awarded, but a working assumption could be for a four–year cycle. The panel "would also need to consider a core list of events that the winning city would gain the right to host–events such as the Turner Prize or the Brit awards. Each winning city would be the one promising not just to do the core events well, but the one with the best vision for how it will use the award to inspire its citizens and transform its prospects, and change people's perceptions of how the city sees itself and how it is seen by the rest of the country, " explained Burnham. The idea, developed by Burnham in tamden with TV producer Phil Redmond, follows Liverpool's successful stint as European Capital of Culture in 2008. "By receiving national recognition, every city in the UK could be given an opportunity to bring out the creative skills, talent and enthusiasm of its people–to showcase itself on the national stage, " said Burnham. Cardiff famously lost out to Liverpool as the European Capital of Culture so would welcome the chance to put itself on the national stage, according to sources. It would expect to benefit from increased tourism as well as other legacies. Liverpool for example attracted 3. 5m first–time visitors in 2008, generating £176m from tourism. This contributed to an overall £800m boost to the local economy. Leeds and Birmingham are also reported to be interested in bidding to become the first British City of Culture. Meanwhile, lobbying is already underway for the coveted 'European Capital of Culture 2016' title. Contenders from Malaga will join those from other Spanish candidate cities bidding for the nomination at the 'International Tourism Trade Fair', from 28 January until 1 February 2009, at the 'Ifema Feria de Madrid'. The organisers of the trade fair announced that the 'Spanish Federation of Journalists and Writers of Tourism' have prepared a stand dedicated to promoting those Spanish cities bidding for the title. Alcala de Henares, Burgos, Caceres, Cordoba, Cuenca, Oviedo–Gijon–Aviles, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Santander, Segovia, Tarragona and Zaragoza are among the 13 candidate cities. The stand will be used to display a number of cultural projects and exhibitions listing the specific features of all these cities.

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