Page last updated at 08:35 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Plans for British City of Culture

By Rebecca Jones
Arts correspondent, BBC News

La Princesse
La Princesse was one of the highlights of Liverpool's culture events in 2008

The government is considering whether high profile cultural events like the Turner Prize and Brit Awards should be held outside London on a regular basis.

Culture Secretary Andy Burnham will speak in Liverpool later to mark the end of the city's year as European Capital of Culture.

He is expected to outline plans to establish a British City of Culture prize, to be awarded every four years.

The winning city could gain the right to host a number of key events.

Mr Burnham is expected to say that too much of Britain's culture is still focused on London.

He is keen to build on the social and economic benefits of Liverpool's year as Capital of Culture, which saw an extra 800m spent in the city.

He is inviting Phil Redmond, who was in charge of Liverpool's cultural programme, to chair a panel to consider the feasibility of a British City of Culture competition.

The panel will decide how frequently the prize should be awarded, as well as considering a list of events the winning city would gain the right to host, such as the Man Booker Prize and the Sterling Prize for architecture.

It will also need to consider how much the initiative will cost - and who will pay for it.

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