Hastings and East Kent reveal City of Culture bids

Orlando Bloom Orlando Bloom is backing the East Kent bid

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Two separate entries from the South East for the UK's City of Culture 2017 contest have revealed more details about their bids.

If it wins, Hastings plans to organise a march from Yorkshire to the south coast, mirroring King Harold's in 1066.

Events and modern day battles, including DJ contests and football matches, will be carried out en route.

East Kent is encouraging people to post videos on their website saying what the area means to them.

The area, which covers Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Thanet, is among 11 contenders bidding to become the next UK City of Culture.

East Kent's bid has won celebrity backing from actor Orlando Bloom, who said he first performed for an audience at the age of four at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre.

'International festival'

The winner will succeed Londonderry, the UK City of Culture for 2013 and the first to hold the title.

The Hastings march would take 19 days and start in Stamford Bridge where King Harold fought the Vikings before travelling down to Hastings.

A similar march in northern France is also planned, which would retrace the steps of William the Conqueror.

Jeremy Birch, who is the leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: "We believe that taking our culture to communities across England and France gives us a chance to be more than a local, regional or even national event, we will be a truly international festival, and one which will leave a tremendous legacy."

The shortlist will be announced in June.

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