The European Commision has cancelled Britain’s hosting of the European Capital of Culture as a result of Brexit.
The hosting of the Capital of Culture rotates around European countries, and Britain was due to be the designated host in 2023. Five cities had already bid to hold the title – Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Belfast/Derry.
However, the European Commission said in a letter to the British Government that UK access would be discontinued following the Brexit vote. This is despite countries outside of the European Union, including Iceland and Norway, previously hosting.
Cities that are awarded the title are permitted to bid for European funding for arts and cultural programmes. This money has allowed for urban regeneration and raising a city’s’ international profile.
Glasgow was the capital of culture in 1990, and Liverpool more recently in 2008. The programme originated in 1985.
A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said that “urgent discussions” were being had with the Commission regarding the decision.
“We disagree with the European Commission’s stance and are deeply disappointed that it has waited until after UK cities have submitted their final bids before communicating this new position to us,” a statement said.
“The prime minister has been clear that while we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe and this has been welcomed by EU leaders.”
Britain is due to leave the EU by 29 March 2019.