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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 09:48 GMT
Culture bid calls for more support
Eclipse viewers in front of to Angel of the North sculpture
The Newcastle Gateshead bid is one of the favourites
A total of 22m will be spent on community events in Newcastle and Gateshead if the area becomes the Capital of Culture in 2008.

The announcement follows concerns of the judging panel that a majority of people in the area have little connection with the bid.

A fifth of the money spent on events will now go on small community-based projects if the bid is succesful, it was announced on Tuesday.

Paul Collard, head of programme development for the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative said their research shows the bid is well supported in the region.

Regional support

But he added a new campaign was needed to back up their findings.

He told BBC Radio Newcastle: "Clearly in some way we have not got the message of what is true about us acros, so we are going to have to work over the next few weeks to do that.

"We are launching a campaign in particular to do that, called called 'Back the Buzz' in order to give people in the region an opportunity to show how much they support us.

"What we want people to do is sign up to show that they believe Newcastle-Gateshead deserves to win the title and encourage as many other people to sign up as well."

Final decision

The Newcastle-Gateshead bid remains among the bookmakers' favourites on the shortlist of six cities.

Sir Jeremy Isaacs, chairman of the judges, warned last month the bid was "not as embedded in the city and the region as others".

The winner of the European Capital of Culture honour for 2008 will be announced in spring 2003.

Newcastle-Gateshead is in the shortlist with Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, and Oxford.


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23 Dec 02 | England
13 Nov 02 | England
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