The man spearheading a 20-year vision for the future of Perth has said UK City of Culture status would be “transformational”.
The Fair City submitted its application for the hotly contested 2021 competition on Thursday night.
Perth is up against 10 other places from across the UK for the top title, which could deliver a multi-million-pound boost to the local economy.
Former McEwens department store boss John Bullough, who is chair of the Perth Development Board, was co-signatory of the city’s bid alongside council leader Ian Miller.
Mr Bullough said: “This represents a significant and exciting moment in Perth’s history. The development of our cultural offering is a key theme of the Perth City Plan, our 20-year vision to make Perth a great, small European city.”
He said: “Culture is important for several reasons: It makes us a destination, puts Perth back on the map and delivers the footfall, the lifeblood of city centre businesses.
“But just as important is how culture can be the catalyst for economic regeneration throughout the region.
“Perth and Kinross have some significant challenges, including a low wages economy, rural poverty and a skills gap – our productivity per capita is 10% below the Scottish national average.”
Mr Bullough said: “Becoming the UK City of Culture will be transformational and give Perth the Renaissance that it so desperately needs.”
In February, leading designer Wayne Hemingway – who is technical adviser to the development board – told the local authority it needed to highlight the area’s negative aspects, as well as its achievements and attractions, if it wanted to grab the attention of contest judges.
Referring to the council’s own list of challenges, which stated the area’s average weekly earnings are 9% less than the rest of Scotland, he said: “Okay, its not good, but I don’t think its a bid winner.
“We need to look at more things that are happening, but are not really being discussed.”
Details of the bid have been kept a closely guarded secret.
Bid leader Fiona Robertson said the 30-page document reflects how “our past has shaped our future”.
Perth’s unique ancient history, its rolling landscapes and the impact of migrant movements has been placed at the heart of the application.
All bids had to be handed over to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in London by close of play on Friday, April 28.
A shortlist of four will be announced later this summer and judges will visit the final areas around October.
The 2021 winner will be announced at a ceremony in Hull at the end of the year.