Nottingham mulls 2023 European Capital of Culture bid

Robin Hood statue Image copyright Esmik D'Aguiar
Image caption Nottingham is famous for the legendary outlaw Robin Hood but has a vibrant cultural scene

Nottingham could be set to bid to be a European Capital of Culture in 2023, the BBC understands.

As well as prestige, the title gave an economic boost to previous UK holders, Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008.

Leeds, Dundee and Milton Keynes have all declared their interest in the 2023 version of the title, which is shared by two European cities each year.

A leading figure in Nottingham's cultural scene said the city could make something great happen.

Brexit put a question mark over the UK's involvement but the government said three non-EU cities had previously been culture capitals.

The UK was already lined up to host in 2023 before the country voted to leave the European Union last June.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Liverpool enjoyed large benefits from holding the title in 2008

The title is regarded as having been a turning point in the recent history of both Liverpool and Glasgow, bringing both investment and a change in image.

If it is entering the race, Nottingham would have until October to submit an initial bid.

But Paul Russ, chairman of Nottingham's Cultural Strategy Partnership, said he did not think that would be a big problem.

"I think we have the capacity and ability to pull it off," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nottingham, home to Lord Byron and DH Lawrence, is a Unesco City of Literature

"It is not going to be easy and there are many people to convince that it is the right way forward.

"But what I would say is that if we were to go forward we have the ingredients to make something great happen," he said.

While the city council has not commented, Mr Russ said he expected an announcement "in a few weeks' time".

The chosen UK city will share the title with a city in Hungary.

This year the position is being held by Aarhus in Denmark and Paphos in Cyprus.

The European Capital of Culture scheme is separate from the UK City of Culture, a title which is being held in 2017 by Hull.

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