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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 16:54 GMT
City plans cultural Highland fling
MPs display the bid document at the launch
MPs display the bid document at the launch
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Isabel Fraser
By Isabel Fraser
BBC Scotland

The capital of the Highlands has launches an ambitious bid to become the European City of Culture 2008.

The bid organsiers insist it could generate more than 200m and create at least 8,000 jobs for the area.

Revelling in its new city status, Inverness is now aiming even higher.

The Highlands and their capital are bidding to become the European City of Culture in 2008.

The formal campaign was launched at the House of Commons in London.

River Ness
Inverness became a city in 2000
David Stewart, Labour MP for Inverness East, said: "We are looking at literature, we are looking at music, we are looking at culture, we are looking at Gaelic - something that's quite different."

Eleven other British cities are competing for the auspicious title.

Along with the international attention, the winner can expect massive economic regeneration.

Highland Council convener David Green said: "Provisional figures from consultants have estimated it's worth over 230m to the region so the potential is absolutely fantastic.

"But I think the important thing is the building of confidence in the area, the involvement of youth and opportunities for the kids in the Highlands to do something in the programme right up to 2008."

Sole contender

Glasgow took the title in 1990, transforming its image around the world.

Inverness may be Scotland's smallest city but it's proving it's big on ambition.

The Inverness bid, which is supported by the Scottish Executive, will be submitted to the UK Government, which has the right to choose the 2008 European Capital of Culture.

Inverness is the only Scottish contender and has attracted all the main political parties' support.

Isabel Fraser reports
"Scotland's smallest city has big ambitions"
See also:

30 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
Belfast 'favourite' for culture title
25 Sep 01 | Scotland
Inverness seeks to join culture club
09 Jun 01 | Scotland
Support for culture city bid
18 Dec 00 | Scotland
Inverness: Scotland's newest city
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