Chester has failed to make the UK City of Culture 2017 shortlist, losing out to Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay, the Department for Culture Media & Sport said on Wednesday.
Cllr Stuart Parker, Cheshire West & Chester Council's executive member for culture, said: "Chester is already a city alive with culture – a programme which is growing year on year, attracting thousands to the city and achieving international recognition.
"Our bid not only outlined future intentions but also highlighted what we already offer. It brought together and galvanised our cultural organisations and community in a way few imagined.
"We didn't convince the competition judges but Chester will have a culture offer that will both help drive our economy and create a truly international first class visitor destination."
Chester was on the long-list of 11 up for the title in 2017, currently held by Derry-Londonderry.
The chairman of judges is Mersey TV founder Phil Redmond. He said in a statement: Phil Redmond, Chair of the independent advisory panel said: "It was incredibly difficult to decide on a shortlist as all the bids recognised the power of culture to bring about social change and offered innovative and interesting programmes. In the end the panel thought the four shortlisted cities offered plans that were ambitious, realistic and would not only deliver for their communities, but would also maintain the momentum created around the success of Derry-Londonderry."
The four shortlisted cities will now be invited to submit a final bid by the end of September 2013 and the winner will be announced in November.