NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen City of Culture bid 'lacked vision'

Image caption The judges said artistic and cultural expertise in Aberdeen was "limited"

Aberdeen's bid to become UK City of Culture 2017 lacked a "coherent vision" and a "wow factor", according to judges.

BBC Scotland has learned that the feedback also described artistic and cultural expertise in the city as "limited".

City council leaders have described the response as a "wake up call".

Aberdeen failed to make the shortlist for the title, however Dundee was one of four cities selected by the panel.

The feedback, from Regeneris Consulting, said the artistic programme lacked depth.

It also said the panel felt there could have been more passion and that the bid did not deliver a compelling case.

But the council has been told it has great potential to be a strong candidate for a future city of culture competition.

Budget potential

The report said: "Despite the potentially compelling need and offer of Aberdeen's bid, it does not deliver a compelling case in terms of vision or deliverability.

"The vision and step changes lack coherence and fail to give a clear picture of the difference that UK CoC would make for Aberdeen and the artistic programme lacks depth and sufficient wow factor at this stage, despite the very significant budget potential."

However, the report added: "Overall, the panel considered that if Aberdeen can develop its cultural offer and partnerships and demonstrate more of a track record then it could be a strong candidate for future UK City of Culture competition."

Deputy Council leader Marie Boulton described the report as a reality check for Aberdeen and said the council was determined to get it right.

She said: "I think we have got a cultural organisation that runs through this city, but it has always been underground because it has always been overshadowed by the economic development in this city.

"We want to know where we are going wrong so we can actually get it right."

Stars including singer Emeli Sande and comedian Billy Connolly had supported Aberdeen's bid.

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