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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Your choice for UK's culture city
Thousands of you voted on which UK city should be European city of culture. Here is the shortlist.

More than 12,000 of you voted on which city should be crowned EU city of culture in 2008.

Twelve UK cities are in the running for the accolade, each hoping for the regeneration and tourism benefits which usually befall the winner.

The final decision rests with the European Union, but BBC News Online users have already made their preferences clear in an online vote.

You have whittled down the original 12 to a shortlist of three:

  • The clear winner of this round, with 17.5% of the votes, is the joint bid from Newcastle and Gateshead.
  • Second is Liverpool, with 14%.
  • Third is Oxford with 11.9%.

Runners up were (in this order): Bristol (10.4%), Birmingham (7.3%), Brighton (7.2%), Cardiff (6.8%), Norwich (6.6%), Canterbury (5.5%), Inverness (4.8%), Belfast (4.6%), and Bradford (3.3%).

In the coming days, we will be looking at the shortlisted bids to delve a little deeper into what those cities have to offer. In the meantime, your specific thoughts on the cultural merits of Newcastle-Gateshead, Liverpool and Oxford are welcome.

The EU is expected to announce its decision as to which is the winning bid early next year.

Some of your comments so far:

Liverpool is the only contender. Its history, its future, its architecture, its theatre, its music, and its wonderful cosmopolitan people make it the most European city in Britain outside London. Italy votes for Liverpool!
Caterina, Italy

Communities from all over the world have made their homes in Liverpool, a city that even boasts a pub where time is called in Cantonese. Where else in the world could you make friends with an Irishman called Wu?
Gerry Cobb, England

The problem with the Newcastle/Gateshead bid is that people forget about the Gateshead part. Remember that Gateshead has the Baltic Art Gallery, and it paid for the Millennium Bridge and the Angel of the North.
David, UK

Oxford is Europe's oldest seat of learning and civilization - it should be honoured by the EU as a cultural city.
Tom, UK

I think the winning city should be a vibrant example of culture that is growing and is reflective to changing times. Oxford seems rather old-school in this respect; I think cities like Newcastle and Liverpool prove something greater.
Chris, England

Culture does not just mean understanding and appreciating art, theatre etc. It means having an identifiable history, born out of and developed through generations of people. Flat caps and beer may well be synonymous with Newcastle and Gateshead, but so is industrial innovation, all the arts and valour in war.
Gary, UK

I travel to Newcastle 5-6 times a year to enjoy the quaint town, good food, historic attractions and fine football prepared by the toon. The people are what make Newcastle special. I will keep visiting for quite a long time.
Jimmy Whited, USA

I was born in Gateshead but have not lived there since I was 8. It was a hole. When I go to the north-east now, I'm astounded by how impressive Newcastle is and how everyone who's been there thinks it's great. The destruction of the docks and their replacement by bars, restaurants etc was seen as destruction of the local culture (and to an extent it was). But now people are finding a renewed pride in their city. If only all of this brings some decent jobs to replace those lost.
Ian, UK

It should be Oxford, the people there know what manners are.
Dave, Merseyside, England

Newcastle for individuality, diversity, regeneration, optimism, social cohesion and just being where it is. And we have a statue to that cultural glue: the cup of tea (Earl Grey of course)
Peter Lowe, England

Liverpool is a special place where music is alive, it always has been and always will be. Music is in every corner you look and in every style you imagine. The life Liverpool and its music breathes into those that walk its streets is a testimony to the fact that it is the cultural capital of the North.
Jan, Australia

Oxford is not "old school" or stuffy as some suggest. On the contrary, it is full of the most intelligent students from around the world who bring their culture and youthful attitudes with them. It is impossible to visit Oxford without having fun and falling in love with the place.
Neil Riches, Mexico

For most of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries Liverpool was one of the richest cities in the world populated by fabulously wealthy merchants and shipping magnates with homes and offices to match. This also made Liverpool a scientific centre spawning a wealth of new inventions. It was also the gateway to the US for millions of European emigrants, a good many of which stayed in Liverpool. Throughout two world wars it was the UK's main port of entry for food, weapons and troops from North America. Of all the British services engaged in World War II, the Merchant Navy proportionally had the heaviest losses by far and the majority lost were from Liverpool.
R. Hughes, UK

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03 Apr 02 | UK
Vote: A UK cultural capital
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