The announcement comes following a meeting of the independent advisory panel chaired by Phil Redmond.
Of the eleven towns and cities that registered bids for UK City of Culture 2021, five have been shortlisted for the prestigious award.
In December 2017, either Coventry, Paisley, Stoke, Sunderland or Swansea will be named the third UK City of Culture, following in the footsteps of Derry-Londonderry and Hull.
Hull is the current City of Culture and its programme includes 365 days of cultural events.
It is estimated that City of Culture has brought a boost of £60 million to the local economy in 2017.
Nine out of 10 residents have attended, or taken part in, an event as part of Hull 2017 and the city has seen over £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013.
The winner of UK City of Culture 2021 will also have access to a £3 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said: “We have received strong bids from across the UK and now have a fantastic shortlist of five that reflect the diversity and cultural ambition of our towns and cities.
“I want to congratulate all eleven bids which offered brilliant examples of how to celebrate their own unique culture and heritage, and showed just how prestigious and coveted the UK City of Culture is.
“The strength of the competition showed us how valuable our cultural assets are to our towns, boosting tourism and jobs in local communities. I have seen first hand how Hull has embraced its status as City of Culture 2017, and how beneficial it has been for the area. I am looking forward to seeing what will come in 2021.”
Enter a name and e-mail address and we will e-mail this website link too them.