Nottingham will launch a bid to be one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2023.
The programme is an annual competition in which cities from two selected European countries bid for the title.
Nottingham will compete against Belfast, Dundee, Leeds and Milton Keynes for the status and a chosen city will share the status with one from Hungary.
The last British capital was Liverpool in 2008.
Chairman of Nottingham’s Cultural Strategy Partnership and chair of the Nottingham 2023 board Paul Russ said: “The lions outside the Council House have been a local meeting, gathering and rallying point for decades.
“We are a proud and inclusive city and urge people of all backgrounds to ‘join our pride’ and help us get to the next stage of the bid by becoming ‘Cultural Lions’.
“Nottingham is an ambitious, young and diverse city with a culture of grassroots collaboration and a history of rebellious innovation.
“As part of the bid, we want to give everyone in Nottingham the opportunity to take part in a project, production or experience and nurture the next generation of creative producers and cultural leaders.”
Reacting to the announcement, Sir John Peace, chair of the Midlands Engine, said: “It’s fantastic that Nottingham is bidding to become European Capital of Culture in 2023, not just for Nottingham, but for the whole of the Midlands.
“Being European Capital of Culture is a huge, year-long opportunity for a city to promote itself and its creative community to the world.
“It would attract significant numbers of visitors from across the UK and overseas, giving a long-term boost to the local and regional economies.
“Art, culture and the creative industries make a surprisingly large contribution to the Midlands economy already and have significant potential to grow, to become more productive and to create more jobs.
“I urge the whole region to get behind bringing the European Capital of Culture to the Midlands.”
Spearheading the Nottingham 2023 bid is Nottingham’s Strategic Cultural Partnership with Nottingham Trent University among those supporting the programme.
Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University said: “Nottingham Trent has a proud 175-year history of contributing to the cultural and economic development of the region.
“We are delighted to be backing the bid and the enormous opportunities that being capital of culture will bring to the city and county.”
The University of Nottingham is also supporting the bid.
Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said: “Creativity and cultural vibrancy is an engine for growth, business and graduate retention and poses huge opportunities for our city, students and public.”
Nottingham has until 17 October 2017 to produce its bid.