West Midlands UKIP MEP James Carver is hoping one of two cities within his constituency will be chosen as the nation’s 2021 cultural gem.
Both Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent are vying for the lucrative title – City of Culture – and the chance of a multi-million pound boost to their economy.
The Midland cities are up against Sunderland, Paisley and Swansea and the winner, to be decided next week, will receive a £3 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
But more than that, the special status will give the chosen city the capacity to follow the success of current titleholder Hull, which is experiencing a reported £60 million boost to its economy.
Mr Carver said: “To have two cities in the West Midlands shortlisted for this coveted title demonstrates the importance of the region nationally.
“Stoke-on-Trent, otherwise known as The Potteries, home to Josiah Wedgwood is the world capital of ceramics and Coventry, the centre of the motor industry, has a rich heritage and is looking for the chance to showcase and enhance its organisations and help nurture new creative industries.
“It will be a tough decision for the City of Culture panel members to make. I just hope they are torn between Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent. I wish them both the best of luck.”