Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:40 UK

County in UK City of Culture race

Spinnaker Tower
The south of Hampshire is home to landmarks like the Spinnaker Tower

An area of Hampshire has put itself forward as a potential candidate to become the first-ever UK City of Culture in 2013.

Urban South Hampshire, which includes Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester, is among 29 locations in the running.

The winning host of national cultural events will be revealed next spring.

Phil Redmond was appointed chairman of the judging panel. Mr Redmond was the creative director of Liverpool's year as European City of Culture in 2008.

The shortlist of 29 locations was announced by Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw on Thursday.

He said: "Liverpool's experience shows that a cultural spotlight on a city can have a fantastic effect on inward investment, and give a real lift to local morale and community spirit."

Highlights of Liverpool's year as European City of Culture included the Turner Prize, MTV Europe Music Awards and La Princesse, a 50ft (15m) high mechanical spider that crawled through the city centre.

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