MICHAEL Moore is looking beyond the independence referendum and encouraging Scottish cities to bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2017.

As his colleague Ed Vaizey, the Culture Minister, launched the contest, the Scottish Secretary said: "Becoming the UK City of Culture for 2017 has the potential to act as a catalyst for encouraging ambition and economic growth and I would strongly encourage Scottish cities to bid for this prestigious title."

The competition, which comes in the same week Derry-Londonderry officially kicks off its year as the first-ever UK City of Culture, is designed to transform communities and showcase artistic talent.

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