Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:29 UK

City Council vetoes culture bid

Belfast City Hall
Councillors vetoed a Belfast bid

Belfast City Council has voted for a second time not to enter the UK City of Culture competition.

A councillor said he voted against entering because he felt Belfast was not in a position financially or culturally to make an effective bid.

Belfast was one of 29 locations which had originally expressed an interest in being named UK City of Culture for 2013.

Councillors have not ruled out entering Belfast in the 2017 competition.

The contest would be a UK version of the famous European City of Culture competition.

It will be judged by renowned television producer Phil Redmond, who was the creative director of Liverpool's year as European cultural capital in 2008.

Ulster Unionist councillor Bob Stoker said he believed a bid, which has to be submitted by December 11, would cost around £1m.

"I don't think we can do justice to the city of Belfast within such a short period of time," Cllr Stoker said.

"Would the ratepayer be getting value for money if we put £1m into a bid that is highly likely to fail?"

He said he also believed Belfast had to do more work on its cultural attractions in order to win such a competition.

Derry City Council has also entered the contest and is planning to press ahead with its bid.

Belfast failed in its attempt to become the European City of Culture in 2008, when Liverpool took the honour.

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