Birmingham has launched its bid to become the UK's first City of Culture, with a £200 million boost to the local economy expected if it is successful.
Birmingham is among 22 other cities who are vying for the cultural crown including Lancaster, Southend-on-sea, Swansea Bay, Aberdeen and Durham.
The participating cities must submit their bid to become the City of Culture in 2013 by December 10 with the shortlisted cities to be decided in January 2010 by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Birmingham's bid will be managed through the Birmingham Cultural Partnership (BCP) and the finalists will have until May 28 2010 to make their last attempts at the title.
Chairman of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, Cllr Martin Mullaney said: "Birmingham already has a fantastic cultural offer of international quality. Now we want to shout about it and of course enhance it.
"Within the city our aim is to increase participation because we know culture can play a key part in lasting social regeneration.
"We also want to make it clear that this is a bid for the whole of Birmingham and that's why we're asking residents what they would like to see included in a City of Culture programme.
"The potential economic benefits are massive. Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture was worth a massive £800 million to the city region and estimates suggest UK City of Culture status could be worth up to £200 million."
In a further move to secure the title Birmingham has launched an interactive website which encourages residents in the area to give their views and ideas.
One resident to visit the site added: "Since moving to Birmingham in March I have been overjoyed with the amount of variety available culturally.
"I have been regularly practising Break-dance with B-Boys Attic, training the Afro-Brazilian Capoeira with Cordeo De Ouro, a little samba with Aquella Dance and enjoying some roots reggae thanks to Jam Jah at The Bulls Head, Moseley.
"It has has a massive impact on me and my artistic practices."
The winner of the City of Culture bid will be announced by the Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw in the Summer of 2010.