Dundee loses bid to become UK City of Culture

Dundee from Newport. Photo: Shahbaz Majeed
Dundee from Newport. Photo: Shahbaz Majeed
Dundee from Newport. Photo: Shahbaz Majeed

Dundee has lost out to Hull in the battle for the title of UK City of Culture 2017.

Dundee’s bid, which had been backed by Alex Salmond as well as Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish secretary, involved a £25 million programme of events. The city had predicted that the title would bring 1.7 million visitors and an £80 million economic boost in 2017. It was also expected to create 1,000 jobs.

The result of the competition was announced on Wednesday morning by Maria Miller, the culture secretary. Hull also saw off Leicester and Swansea Bay.

Despite the loss, several of the ideas from Dundee’s bid will go ahead anyway. These include the opening of the V&A museum and a £1m regeneration of the city’s waterfront.

Dundee’s city council leader, Ken Guild, told The Courier:

“We are disappointed at this news, but we are glad that we made the most of this opportunity to showcase Dundee’s cultural strengths to a huge audience.

“Far from being downhearted, I think this bid process has already helped us to further boost partnership efforts to encourage even more participation in the arts in the city.

“I would like to thank all the partners in Dundee for their commitment and also the thousands of people who took time to play a part in the bid. As far as we all are concerned, Dundee is already a true city of culture and we want to use the spirit of the bid as an inspiration for the future.”

He was more gracious than Swansea’s council leader, David Phillips, who reportedly called the loss a “bitter disappointment” and said the residents of Hull “had to have something to look forward to”.


  1. The English looking after their own, no surprises their then. I bet half the panel wouldn’t be able to point to Dundee on a map. Dundee’s bid was far superior to any of the others but this just goes to show that the Tories couldn’t care less about Scotland.

    The only saving grace is that by 2017 Scotland will no longer be part of the UK!


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