Friday 24 November 2017

Following the decision of the European Commission to not allow UK cities to bid for European Capital of Culture 2023, the British Council has issued the following statement:

The British Council is disappointed with the announcement that the European Capital of Culture scheme will not be open to UK cities in 2023. It seems premature as Brexit negotiations are still underway and we do not know the shape of our final settlement.

It is often said that the UK is leaving the EU, but not leaving Europe. The Capitals of Culture scheme represents exactly the kind of cultural ties that transcend Brexit, and will become even more important as political bonds are loosened.

There is real desire on both sides to maintain multilateral programmes in education, science arts and culture. Earlier this year more than 500 leaders from across Europe endorsed our recommendations for continued cooperation in these spheres, which were delivered to negotiators on both sides.

We hope the will can be found by negotiators to uphold these recommendations and support the continued cultural, educational and scientific ties that have existed between the UK and European nations for centuries.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.