The announcement by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport comes as Milton Keynes begins the celebrations of its 50th birthday, with a host of events planned by local organisations and communities for the entire year.
Cllr Liz Gifford, cabinet member responsible for arts and culture, said: “This announcement could not have been timed better as people and groups around Milton Keynes are gearing up for city-wide celebration of the 50th birthday.
“Milton Keynes has a growing and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre for the arts and cultural sector – we have a lot to offer.
“Bidding for the European Capital of Culture 2023 will play a major role in promoting prosperity and profiling the city to investors and skilled workers and will also play an important part in Milton Keynes growing to become a major and influential UK city.
“That said, I’d like to wish the best of luck to the other UK places considering a bid.”
Milton Keynes has already established a strong steering group of city partners which is well placed to work together to create an excellent bid.
Dr Ann Limb, chair of the Capital of Culture 2023 Steering Group, said: “This is great news and presents a huge opportunity for the whole city and the wider sub-region.
“Milton Keynes has great recent experience of bidding for major events and has shown through the Rugby World Cup last year that we can create and deliver highly ambitious projects.
“I am confident that partners across the city will rise to the challenge of working with the council to put together a winning bid.”
The decision to go for the European Capital of Culture title was agreed unanimously by full council in July 2015.
Further details of the bid process are available at: