Darlington has missed out on hosting Eurovision in 2023 after it confirmed it had launched a bid yesterday.

The news was announced this morning on the BBC Radio 2 Zoe Ball breakfast show where the shortlists were announced as Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Eurovision 2023 was due to take place in Ukraine following the country’s success in last year’s competition, however, due to the ongoing conflict with Russia, it was agreed that the United Kingdon, as the runner up, would host it on behalf of Ukraine.

Yesterday afternoon it was announced in a meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authorities Overview and Scrutiny Committee by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen announced that if successful, Darlington would welcome the 26 countries taking part in the popular event.

The bid was put together by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority and Darlington Borough Council on behalf of the region and key partners and would was to be held at Darlington Arena.

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However, it was announced this morning that unfortunately, Darlington was not successful in its bid to host Eurovision.

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Following the announcement this morning, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said the loss was unfortunate, adding: “You win some and you lose some but that’s life.

Mr Houchen added: “So it wasn't to be. Unfortunately we didn’t get shortlisted to host Eurovision in Darlington.”

Despite this the mayor added that he was “proud of the bid” his team put together to host the event at Darlington Arena.

He added: “That’s where we had the ability to host more than 20,000 people and a deliverable plan to put a roof on the arena with it being in the design of a Ukrainian flag - we also had an agreement in place with the arena to provide vacant possession for the 8 weeks prior to the event, as required by the bid criteria.”

The Mayor was keen to stress that this “won’t be the last time we step up when called upon” and hopes we hold future global events.

He said: “As I always say, you’ve got to be in it to win it and given our bid cost a grand total of £0 we have made it clear that Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool stands ready to host global events.

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“This won't be the last time we step up when called upon, and now we look forward to hosting another global event in the Rugby League World Cup later this year at the Riverside.

“The progress we are making and the positive noises we are creating are paying dividends. Five years ago we wouldn’t have even thought about bidding, but our area is on the up and opportunities like this will come round again.”

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