Cheshire West & Chester Council has registered its expression of interest to bid for UK City of Culture in 2017.
If shortlisted CWAC will submit a detailed bid for Chester to be awarded the status by 30 September this year. Derry-Londonderry, in Northern Ireland, was the first UK city to win the award and is UK City of Culture for 2013. The independent panel that selects the city is chaired by TV producer and screenwriter Phil Redmond, who was on the board of the Liverpool Culture Company, set up after Liverpool became the European Capital of Culture 2008.
Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and recreation at CWAC, said: "Cheshire West and Chester is one of the very few councils in Britain making major investment in its culture infrastructure.
"By 2017 the authority will be aiming to showcase a major new theatre, the refurbished Grosvenor Park and new performance venues in Northwich.
"And you can add to that the success of Chester's Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre together with its music, literature and lifestyle festivals which are growing from strength to strength."
Parker added: "Should we be successful, the title of British City of Culture will bring an economic boost and tremendous prestige to the city.
"However we will have to work hard to create an exciting and vibrant cultural experience to be selected."
If the city is shortlisted council chiefs will create a programme of cultural activities before making a final bid for the title by the end of September.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport plans to announce the shortlist by the end of June and a winner by December.