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Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 10:35 GMT
Cardiff makes culture capital shortlist
Lynne Williams (Cardiff 2008 CEO)
Lynne Williams is delighted with the shortlist nomination
Cardiff has made the shortlist for the European Capital of Culture 2008.

Six cities - the Welsh capital, Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle/Gateshead, Bristol and Oxford - were picked from a group of 12.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell made the announcement at 0830 GMT after the advisory panel led by Sir Jeremy Isaacs, the former director general of the Royal Opera House.


We're in it to win it - we're going to go on the end, and Cardiff will be that capital of culture in 2008

Lynne Williams, Cardiff 2008
Cardiff leapt from nowhere to second favourite, according to an independent poll which this week put Birmingham as front-runner.

Now, bookmakers William Hill have given the city odds of 4/1 to gain the title, putting it in third place behind favourites Newcastle/Gateshead at 7/4 and Liverpool at 5/2.

Prime Minister Tony Blair will name the winning city in March.

The Millennium Stadium - which Lord Mayor Russel Goodway promised would be made full use of - and the Wales Millennium Centre - to be completed by 2004 for organisations including Welsh National Opera - are both key venues.

Capacity

Lynne Williams, chief executive of Cardiff 2008, said: "We couldn't be happier. It really is a vindication of all the work which has gone in.

"We're in it to win it - we're going to go on the end, and Cardiff will be that capital of culture in 2008.

Cardiff Lord Mayor Russell Goodway added: "We want to do this for the whole of the UK.

"What we have demonstrated is that we have got the capacity to do it.

Culture shortlist
Bristol
Birmingham
Cardiff
Liverpool
Newcastle Gateshead
Oxford

"Let no-one any longer under-estimate the strengths that Cardiff's got and our determination and commitment to make these things happen.

He said the shortlist demonstrated the panel was looking for the "substance" in the bid, not glitzy presentations.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan sent his congratulations to the city.

"This is deserved recognition for the city's sustained commitment to its cultural heritage and the inherent strength of the Cardiff bid."

Welsh culture minister Jenny Randerson said it was wonderful news for Cardiff and Wales.


Cardiff's bid builds on our history and tradition but also recognises the diverse nature of Wales today

Jenny Randerson
"Getting to this stage in the process is a great achievement in itself and one which will gain tremendous benefits for the cultural future of our country and its capital city," she said.

"Cardiff's bid builds on our history and tradition but also recognises the diverse nature of Wales today and the valuable contribution all parts of Wales make to our national identity.

"The Welsh langugae, for example, sets us apart and I hope will be a winning element."

And newly appointed Welsh secretary, Peter Hain said: "It is clear that Cardiff is a city on the move - and it can take the whole of Wales with it as it seeks international success.

The Welsh capital secured Welsh Assembly Government assistance for a combined 1m effort by mounting an "all-Wales" bid, promising subsequent events would be spread nationwide.

A June 2002 Cardiff Business School report forecast 3,500 new jobs would be created as a direct spin-off of a successful bid, generating 660m for the Cardiff economy and a further 320m for Wales.

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium
An opportunity to showcase Wales
For several months, Cardiff has been sponsoring a swathe of new and regular arts events, including the Worldport world music festival and International Festival of Musical Theatre, and several exhibitions

Art prize

Cardiff 2008 launched its own signature art prize this month to help overcome the lack of a national art modern gallery, which is being addressed by the National Museums and Galleries of Wales.

Artes Mundi - the Wales International Arts Prize - is the world's largest, offering 40,000 every two years from March 2004 for emerging artists excelling in exploration of human form.

  • When the European City of Culture programme began in 1985, it was seen as a chance for a renewed focus by cities on their cultural heritage and their distinctive cultural identity and vitality.

  • Cardiff has been finding its own feet as Wales' capital, the home of a devolved government and as a major UK city in its own right in the meantime.

  • The European Union agreed in 1999 that the European Council should choose the city to become European Cultural Capital each year from a shortlist submitted by the member states' culture ministry.

  • The selection process is a competition - the winner being the city considered most able to represent their country and Europe by putting on a year-long celebration of international cultural events highlighting European culture
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    Lynne Williams, Cardiff 2008 CEO
    "We have a big bag of tricks"
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