In June 2016 the Mayor of Bristol (Labour controlled) said;
"Bristol has a tremendous wealth of talent and creativity that deserves to be showcased to the world.
"I want culture – and sport – to be accessible to everyone, not just
those who can afford it. I want culture to reach out and overcome
Bristol's social and economic divides.
"With this in mind, I am proud to announce my ambition to lead a bid for
Bristol to become the European Capital of Culture ."
On Friday 24th February 2017 :
Mayor Rees said: "We can't afford [Capital of Culture] now, because there's no guarantee we'd get it.
"They [EU officials] invited us to bid, but when you look at the cost of
doing so compared to the fact that we're not really in [the EU] and
there's no guarantee we'd win it, our judgement is – at a time when
we're facing horrific budget decisions – it wouldn't be a wise way to
spend the money."
He said: "The bid for Capital of Culture is impacted by Brexit and
spending that much money for a bid, with a risk of achieving nothing, is
not a good decision.
"We are instead concentrating our efforts on working with the city's cultural providers to enhance Bristol's cultural offer."