Events - 16 August 2017

Nottingham launches European Capital of Culture 2023 bid

Nottingham today (August 16) launched its bid to be named European Capital of Culture in 2023, with the full backing of leading business and public sector organisations – including the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

The bid was launched this morning in Sneinton’s Market Square, under a temporary structure of ‘luminaria’ domes – pictured – created by Nottingham-based company Architects of Air.

A successful bid would see the city – which already has a vibrant cultural and arts scene – host a wide range of events over the year 2023 and be a focus of international attention for the arts. It will be competing against Belfast, Dundee, Leeds, and Milton Keynes for the title. Nottingham’s bid will be submitted to judges by the end of this year and it will learn if it is through to the final selection round in early 2018.

The 2023 bid is being driven by main partners Marketing Nottingham, Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham. Speakers at today’s launch event included Ian Curryer, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, and Barbara Matthews, NTU Pro Vice-Chancellor for Culture.

Nottingham 2023’s bid website – at – is asking businesses and organisations to ‘pledge’ their support, and the D2N2 LEP has already signed up.

People are being asked to become ‘Cultural Lions’, or champions of the Nottingham 2023 bid.

Paul Russ, Chair of Nottingham’s Cultural Strategy Partnership and Chair of the Nottingham 2023 board, said: “The lions outside the Council House have been a local meeting, gathering and rallying point for decades, we are a proud and inclusive city and urge people of all backgrounds to ‘join our pride’ and help us get to the next stage of the bid by becoming ‘Cultural Lions’.”

D2N2’s eight key sectors include ‘creative and dgitial industries‘ and the ‘visitor economy‘ (including tourism), both of which would strongly benefit from a successful Nottingham 2023 bid.

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, attended today’s launch event.

He said: “Nottingham has a long-standing reputation for culture and the arts already; including its designation as a UNESCO City of Literature in 2015 and the presence of leading arts venues such as Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange, Theatre Royal, and of cultural icons past and present.

“Culture and economic development are closely linked and D2N2 will be strongly backing the bid for the city to become European Capital of Culture in 2023; to benefit all communities and provide the extra boost that ‘Capital’ status would give to our key economic sector, of the visitor economy and tourism.”

For more on the Nottingham 2023 bid see its website at, and follow its social media channels including Twitter at @Nottingham2023 

Media wanting more information about this article can contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Manager, on 0115 9578749 or email: 

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