Kent, Canterbury, The Cathedral

Canterbury-born film star Orlando Bloom has pledged his support for East Kent’s bid to win UK City of Culture for 2017, hoping to succeed Londonderry as the current title-holding city. East Kent will be vying with Leicester, Hull, Aberdeen, Dundee, Plymouth, Chester, as well as Portsmouth and Southampton, Southend-on-Sea and Swansea Bay, and Hastings and Bexhill-on-Sea coming in with joint bids.

“Growing up in East Kent awakened my passion. I hope this bid can do the same for generations to come.” Bloom told BBC News.

Jack Olrod, a resident student at Kent University said, “It’s so exciting to see support from such an inspirational actor from my uni town. Winning the title will hopefully encourage the talent within East Kent.”

Margaret Waine, a 68 year old Canterbury resident said, “I’m sure this bid would do wonders for East Kent. I have lived here all my life and this city alone has a lot to celebrate. With the proper recognition, we’ll be able to show off our rich and diverse cultural talent.”

Other celebrities to have declared their support for East Kent include Billy Connolly, Paul O’Grady, Jools Holland and Lorraine Kelley.

A shortlist of contenders for UK City of Culture will be released in June.