Aberdeen is to compete to become the UK City of Culture in 2017.
City councillors unanimously backed the plans and preparations will start “immediately” according to a council spokesman.
Councillors were told that the benefits of bidding for, and then becoming, City of Culture would be long lasting and would continue to be felt well beyond 2017.
Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam said: “Aiming to win the City of Culture title in 2017 presents Aberdeen with a tremendous opportunity and a terrific target to aim for. The benefits that a win could bring would be enormous, in terms of culture, the economy and regeneration.
“Achieving the title would also boost the city’s profile on the national and international stage and do wonders for tourism and inward investment.
“This is a prize worth winning. A proud city like Aberdeen should be aiming high and I have no doubt that everyone will pull together to mount an extremely strong bid.”
Aberdeen City Council Chief Executive Valerie Watts added: “I have first-hand experience of leading a winning bid for UK City of Culture and I know just how much value it can bring.
“Becoming involved in the process galvanises the whole community to join together to work towards a shared goal. Aberdeen already plays on a world stage in the competition for business and investment – and bidding to win the City of Culture title will be a huge benefit in terms of putting ourselves firmly on the international map.
“The quality of life here in Aberdeen is already very high. We can all now work together to build on that to make the city even better – and to let the whole world know.”
The City of Culture initiative was launched in 2009 by the Department for Culture Media and Sport in the wake of Liverpool’s successful year as European City of Culture in 2008.
The first winner was Derry/Londonderry, whose successful bid was spearheaded by Mrs Watts when she was its most senior officer.
The report to councillors said: “Developing a bid can bring a wide range of lasting economic benefits. The Liverpool Culture Company reported that the economic benefit of the title was £800 million.
“Derry/Londonderry’s bid estimated that UK City of Culture could lead to Gross Value Added of £40 million between 2010 and 2013, as well as 2,800 net additional jobs by 2020.”
Council officers will now assemble a team to draw up the City of Culture bid.
The potential social, cultural and economic benefits will be researched in detail.
Potential investors will also be approached to gauge the possible levels of financial support and a “cultural champion” could be identified to become the bid’s figurehead.
The bidding process is expected to be completed by the end of next year, with the final stage of the competition scheduled to be held in the Northern Ireland city.
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