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Swansea's Bid For UK City Of Culture 2021

Swansea Harrier Matthew Rees who was hailed as the hero of the London Marathon 2017 is getting behind the bid.

He caught the hearts of the nation thanks to his selfless act at the London Marathon, when he forgo any concerns about his own finish time to help a fellow runner who was too weak to make it to the end of the race unaided. And, as the city submitted its bid for UK City of Culture 2021 on Friday the 28th of April, he has said that helping those in need is part of the culture of Swansea. 
 
The act of kindness has caused a flurry of media excitement across the globe - and it has even garnered Matthew a number of marriage proposals.
 
But 29-year-old Matthew's attention is sharply focused upon his running progress and on backing Swansea's UK City of Culture 2021 bid. He said: "It is great that Swansea is going for the UK City of Culture Bid 2021 and I hope everyone is getting behind it. Swansea has so much going for it, and the people and the way they treat each other is a big part of that. 
 
"I grew up in Swansea, I went to Bishopston School, and it is true that there is a culture here of looking out for each other. It is something that makes the city special.
 
"One of the things I like about the Swansea bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is the focus on the fact that culture isn't just about theatre, art and poetry. It is also about the things we do in our daily lives that make us who we are. For me, my culture is running.  
 
"And when you can run and train outside, on the beaches of Swansea Bay, or on the promenade, you are in beautiful surroundings. Being outdoors helps you clear your mind and really focus on what you are doing - what better place is there to be?
 
"I'm proud to support Swansea's UK City of Culture 2021 bid and I would urge everyone in the city to do the same."
 
Matthew has made a film to support Swansea's UK City of Culture 2021 bid. Watch it here: 
 
Swansea's bid is being led by the Council, with the backing of local cultural and voluntary groups, the Swans, Swansea BID, both of the city's universities and a host of others who want to see Swansea get through the next round and beyond.
 
Swansea council's Head of Cultural Services, Tracey McNulty, said: "It is great to see how Swansea's bid for UK City of Culture 2021 has really caught people's imaginations. We are pleased to have Matthew Rees on board and his attitude really sums up the people of Swansea.
 
"A successful bid for Swansea will put us on a world stage and will be something everyone can be proud of. It's true that it generates huge investment for the host city but it will also bring people together to really celebrate and enjoy the best of what this city can offer."
 
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport will now draw up its shortlist which is due to be announced within the next six weeks. Final bids will then be submitted by the end of September, with a winner announced in Hull in December 2017. 
 
It is estimated that the total City of Culture investment for Hull's title this year will be more than £100 million. Coupled with the recent City Deal news the impact of a bid for Swansea to be UK City of Culture 2021 could be transformative for the city, leaving a lasting cultural legacy. 
 

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