Eleven cities have bid to be named City of Culture 2017, the initiative established by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the back of Liverpool's success as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
The cities which have put forward bids for 2017 are:
East Kent (covering Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Thanet)
Hastings and Bexhill on Sea
Portsmouth and Southampton
Southend on Sea
Swansea Bay (covering Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath, and Port Talbot)
The panel will now consider each entry and the shortlist will be announced in June this year.
Commenting on the competition, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "I'm delighted that we've had so many cities put their name forward, from all across the UK. I wish them all good luck and I know the panel is gearing up to study each of the entries carefully before announcing the shortlist in June."