Theatre in Wales

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Cardiff loses Euro culture bid     

Culture Minister Tessa Jowell announced that Liverpool was the winner at 0810 BST on Wednesday morning - she will now be travelling to the city for lunchtime celebrations.

Liverpool shocked favourite Newcastle-Gateshead to win the title.

Some estimate that winning the title could be worth £1bn in added investment and increased tourism.

Regardless of the defeat, the leader of Cardiff Council, Russell Goodway, said he believes Cardiff's bid has helped improve relations between the city and the rest of Wales.

He added that many of the projects planned for Cardiff would continue, despite defeat.

Liverpool will now become the first British European Capital of Culture since Glasgow in 1990.

During its reign as culture capital, Glasgow reported 5,580 new jobs and an economic boost worth almost £15m to the local economy.


Initially, 12 cities were contesting the title, before the shortlist of six was announced in October 2002.

The other contenders on the shortlist were Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle/Gateshead and Oxford.

All six cities are likely to benefit from the investment put into the bids.

There was disappointment in Cardiff after the announcement.

But many of those backing the Cardiff bid said the bidding process had brought long-term benefits to the city.

Olympic athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson said: "For the people on the Cardiff 2008 campaign, it's disappointing.

"Winning the title would have been nice, but it's not that important to the development of Cardiff."

'Highest standard'

Announcing Liverpool's victory, Tessa Jowell said all the bidding cities could have emerged victorious.

She said: "It's been a fantastic competition.

"All the bids were of the highest standard and any of the cities could be the nomination for 2008."

Earlier this year, Cardiff came fifth in a poll of TV viewers, who were asked to choose their favourite city in the final six.

Newcastle-Gateshead topped the survey with 52,241 votes.

The poll was not part of the official decision process which determined the winning city.

The annual Capital of Culture accolade was created in 1985 as a way of bringing European citizens closer together.
BBC Wales on line  
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: news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/wales/south_east/2961712.stm

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