The Tay Cities region has failed to make the next stage of a bid to be named UK City of Culture 2025.
Dundee City, Perth and Kinross, Angus and Fife councils joined forces to work on a collective application for the title.
It was among 20 initial bids put forward for the process in August.
But it has now been confirmed that Tay Cities is not among the eight locations to make the longlist.
Stirling is the only Scottish destination to have made it through the first stage of the judging process.
It is joined by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough.
It had been hoped the Tayside and Fife region could enjoy an influx of visitors and millions of pounds of investment if the bid was successful.
What does the public think?
Rosemary Lambie, 68, from Dundee, said: “It’s a shame really because I think it would sort of pop Dundee on the map a bit more.
“I’m a great believer in that because I lived in Dundee in the 70s and then my husband and I moved away for work for 30 years, and then we came back and I was very pleasantly surprised that things had improved a lot.
“I think the benefits of the title are something that Dundee really needs. It really needs more jobs for people, local people.”
One 80-year-old man, who wished to remain anonymous but has lived in the city his whole life, is not surprised.
He said: “I just think there’s so many other places that show evidence of culture.
“Dundee has pockets of it and so does Perth but I wouldn’t have described any of them as a city of culture, it just doesn’t seem to fit the name.
“There’s some nice places in Dundee, the McManus Galleries, the V&A I suppose, but it’s not exactly a thriving city of culture and the same with Perth.”
Gordon Will, 56, from Arbroath, who works in Dundee, said: “With the V&A here I am surprised we didn’t make it in but I think there’s lots of competition for it anyway.
“I think having it between the different areas, it kind of dilutes it slightly rather than being an individual place.
“It probably would have brought more cultural events coming in, maybe a bit more business for DCA and the V&A.”
Some visitors to Dundee feel the region would have been deserving of the title.
Nurdamia Roslan, 21, from Malaysia and Natalia Geordi, 20, from Hungary, are both international students who moved to Dundee two weeks ago.
Natalia said: “I think there are a lot of shops that had to shut down because of lockdown so I think a lot of them would have benefited from it.”
Nurdamia said: “You can tell the city is rich with history but we haven’t had a chance to get to it yet. I can tell there’s a lot of people who take pride in being here.
“You can tell that there are people who are just staying here to study like us so I think investment would bring more tourism in the city.”
Mal Brown, who was visiting the city with husband Alastair, said: “I have to admit that quite a lot of people asked us why we were going to Dundee.
“I think it’s got a previous reputation but Dundee has done a lot for itself in the last few years, so its previous reputation might have been deserved at the time, but it needs to get the news out there that there’s a bit more to it now.
“You can see it’s a work in progress but it’s really nice.”
Despite the blow, local leaders remain defiant about the strength of the region’s cultural offering – with the Tay Cities Deal already aiming to give the area a boost.
Councillor David Fairweather, leader of Angus Council, said: “It’s a shame but it doesn’t change the amazing cultural offer available across the Tay Cities region.
“The submission of our expression of interest has reiterated that culture, and the tourism it generates are key aspects of our continued economic success for the region.
“By coming together we can create an unrivalled experience for our residents and visitors alike.”
Stronger links across four Tay Cities areas
Perth and Kinross counterpart Murray Lyle said: “The four local authorities have taken this opportunity to create stronger links between the cultural organisations and creative individuals, fostering a new understanding of our strengths and strategic aims and developing some exciting projects which we will continue to plan for.
“These will help make Perth and Kinross and the wider Tay Cities region an even better place to live and work.”
A panel of judges, led by Sir Phil Redmond, will announce a shortlist in the spring, before the winner is revealed in May.
Dundee previously lost out on a bid to be named UK City of Culture 2017 after making the shortlist.