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Oxford bids to become World Book Capital

23rd January 2012

Oxford is aiming to become the first UK city to be crowned Unesco World Book Capital, with the government throwing its weight behind the bid to bring the title to the region in 2014.

Each year since 2001, Unesco has chosen one city to be World Book Capital, with the decision based on the quality of the city's promotion of books and reading among the public, including literacy programmes and book drives.

The bidding cities are invited to submit an application detailing their suitability for the honour, but until now the UK has been unsuccessful with its nominations – something the coalition is hoping will change in 2012.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey said Oxford is clearly in 'a very good position' to secure the nomination because of its 'extraordinary' literary heritage.

The bid coordinators are highlighting the city's efforts to boost literacy rates among children and Mr Vaizey said he supported the focus.

'I met recently with three leading literacy charities, working together to look at how to do even more work in terms of introducing kids to books and getting them excited about reading,' he added.

All applications must be submitted by April 27th, with the victorious city announced in the summer and holding the title of World Book Capital between April 2014 and March 2015.

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