Get your bets on.
Sunderland has been placed joint second favourite to become the City of Culture 2021 behind Perth in Scotland.
The odds have been released by bookies William Hill after it was confirmed which locations will be putting their case forward for the title.
Perth is 3/1 to win, followed by Sunderland at 4/1, which is joint second with Cardiff.
Paisley, near Glasgow, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent and Milton Keynes are all in the running at 6/1.
“We think Perth looks a great bid and they are our early favourites to be named as the City of Culture,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.
Councillor Mel Speding, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet secretary and chairman of the Sunderland Cultural Partnership, said: “While I’m not a betting man, I do believe that with our many creative and cultural selling points we have a strong bid.
“As I and others have said before, Sunderland’s bid is a fine opportunity to showcase our city, it helps increase visitor numbers and it all helps raise our national and international profile.
“And, like other bids, if you’re not in it you’re not going to win it.”
The team behind Sunderland’s bid has said it should win because it has a “unique energy and ambition which makes this the perfect opportunity to bid to be UK City of Culture.”
It would kick-start a four year period of growth, innovation and creativity and culminate in a year of exciting cultural and artistic events.Sunderland 2021 city of culture campaign
It believes the new Wear Crossing, redevelopment of the Vaux site, seafront and buildings including the old fire station in High Street West support the project.
The city’s existing cultural assets including the Sunderland Empire and the National Glass Centre also give it the edge.
The bid is being submitted to give Sunderland a chance to establish itself “as a national centre for arts, heritage and culture.
It adds: “A successful UK City of Culture bid would put the city firmly into the cultural spotlight, attracting millions of pounds into the local economy through investment in the arts and an increase in visitors and jobs.
“It would kick-start a four year period of growth, innovation and creativity and culminate in a year of exciting cultural and artistic events.”
The competition is divided into two stages, with the winner to be announced in Hull in 2017 as its year as City of Culture comes to a close.
The initial stage will see initial bids submitted to a judging panel by candidate cities in the spring of next year.
They will then be assessed by the panel and a shortlist of four will be chosen, with those then invited to submit second round bids before the winner is announced.
Sunderland’s bid is being led by a team from the University of Sunderland, the MAC Trust and the council.
The bid bosses have set up a Facebook page, are on Twitter @Sunderland2021 and on Instagram and also use the hashtag #Sunderland2021.
More details can be found via www.sunderland2021.com.