EAST Kent is bidding to become the 2017 UK City of Culture.
Canterbury, Folkestone, Dover, Ashford and Thanet have joined forces to aim for the title.
The longlist, including Aberdeen, Chester, Dundee, Hastings and Bexhill on Sea, was announced yesterday by culture minister Ed Vaizey.
He said: "This is fantastic news and shows the appetite for the prestigious City of Culture title is in healthy supply right across the length and breadth of the country. The competition brings together communities and creates economic and social benefits and I am pleased to see so many local authorities and different partners coming together. I wish all 11 the best of luck."
The deadline for submitting initial bids is April 30. The pitches will be assessed by an independent panel of advisors chaired by Phil Redmond, a key player in Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008 which attracted 9.7 million more visitors and an extra £735 million tourism revenue.
Mr Redmond said: "The UK City of Culture can be a real catalyst for change and I'm delighted so many places have registered their interest in the competition for 2017. Together with the panel I'm looking forward to receiving some ambitious and dynamic bids that highlight the very best of local cultural talent, along with delivering a realistic programme that will appeal to as wide an audience as possible."
All the areas competing for the title are: Aberdeen, Chester, Dundee, Hastings and Bexhill-on- Sea, Hull, Leicester, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, and Swansea Bay for the prestigious prize.
A shortlist will be announced in June.