The decision to block UK bids for the European Capital of Culture 2023 was met with frustration from the other bidding cities as well as Dundee.
The Courier revealed yesterday that the European Commission announced that UK cities will not be able to compete in the competition.
Leeds, Nottingham, Milton Keynes and a joint bid with Belfast and Londonderry were also preparing entries for the competition.
The decision led to strong reaction north of the border, and similar feelings were mirrored from the other cities.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We are hugely frustrated by the European Commission’s apparent proposal.
“As a city, we have pursued this title with enthusiasm, diligence and determination, following the process to the letter throughout and to have the rug pulled from under us at this late stage would be a huge blow.”
The Belfast Telegraph reported a statement from Belfast City Council and Derry Council said it was “deeply disappointed” with the recent development and that they are seeking “urgent clarification”.
The statement read: “We are deeply disappointed with this recent development, but are committed to ensuring that the time, energy, enthusiasm, ideas and resources put into our bid are carried forward regardless.”
Rupert Matthews, member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands, told the Nottingham Post he was “extremely angry” at the European Commission’s “unfair and unjustified” decision – which he intends to challenge.
“Time, effort and money have all been put into this process by local individuals, businesses and public bodies, only to be wasted if this very poor decision is allowed to stand,” he said.
“Nottingham has a very strong bid and I am outraged that all the hard work will have been for nothing.
“Although this scheme is administered by the European Commission, it has never been restricted to the European Union and has always been open to all European cities.
“We are looking to conclude an agreement with the EU which is not just about trade but develops our cultural and artistic links. The EU insists it wants that too, yet it makes an announcement like this out of the blue.”
And a spokesman for Milton Keynes Council told the Milton Keynes Citizen that they were also “disappointed” by the position taken by the European Commission.
“We will not be withdrawing from the process voluntarily and remain hopeful that a compromise may be found in the future, although whatever happens nothing will reduce our ambition to continue to grow our arts, heritage and cultural sectors in Milton Keynes,” they said.
It is estimated that Liverpool’s status generated £750m to the local economy from £170m of spending.