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Fingers crossed for City of Culture bid

PUBLISHED: 09:04 15 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:17 01 July 2010

Launch of this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Launch of this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

The whole city is keeping its fingers crossed as civic leaders and officials from Norwich's arts scene present their culture bid.

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Official Norwich 2013 bid website

The whole city is keeping its fingers crossed as civic leaders and officials from Norwich's arts scene present their culture bid.

The team behind Norwich's bid to become the first UK City of Culture in 2013 have left for Liverpool today to present its case to the judging panel.

Norwich vying with Birmingham, Sheffield and Derry-Londonderry and is being seen as a leading contender for the prize which would see it host a year-long international arts festival and be worth an estimated £215 million to the local economy.

Famous names who have thrown their weight behind Norwich's bid include actor writer and TV host Stephen Fry, writers Ian McEwan, Frederick Forsyth and Amit Chaudhuri, actress Miranda Raison, and celebrity chefs Delia Smith and Marco Pierre White.

The delegation to Liverpool is led by Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council, Laura McGillivray, chief executive of the city council, Jonathan Holloway, director of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Marcus Patteson from Norwich Community Arts, Ian Johnson from Access to Music, and Chris Gribble from Writers' Centre Norwich.

They will make their presentation tomorrow and attend a civic reception being held by Liverpool City Council for the four competing cities.

Phil Redmond, creative director of Liverpool's 2008 Capital of Culture, is chairing the independent advisory panel which will receive presentations from the four finalists.

The panel will make its recommendations to Jeremy Hunt, the new secretary of state for culture, media and sport, ahead of a final decision in July.

Norwich's bid 'A Whole City Experiment' features world premieres, pop concerts, light shows, mass street feasts and music, dancing and writing from around the world and would involve all communities in the city.

Mr Morphew said: “This truly is a whole city bid and we intend to use the City of Culture to reach every person in the city and improve their quality of life.

“We have already gained a great deal of national profile which will benefit the city and going to Liverpool is the next stage in showing the world how good we really are.”

Stuart Hobday, director of Norwich Arts Centre, said: “It is great that Norwich has got on the shortlist and now it's fingers crossed. “It's national recognition that, for its size, Norwich has an amazing choice of cultural activity making it a great place to live.

“The City of Culture year will enable this to grow and make Norwich culturally and economically vibrant. We can tell the rest of the country what the locals already know.”

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Official Norwich 2013 bid website

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