ABERDEEN is running ahead of Dundee in the betting stakes to win the coveted City of Culture title in 2017.
But Chester has emerged as the clear bookie’s favourite, eight days before the final shortlist is announced on 19 June.
Dundee and Aberdeen are the two Scottish cities competing for the title against Chester; East Kent Hastings and Bexhill on Sea; Hull; Leicester; Plymouth, Portsmouth and Southampton; Southend-on-Sea, and Swansea Bay.
The shortlist is being considered by an independent advisory panel, chaired by Phil Redmond, creator of Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks.
A spokesman for William Hill said today: “With the eleven UK City of Culture candidates set to be whittled down into a shortlist in the next few days, William Hill make Chester the 4/1 favourite to win the honour for 2017.
“Chester is just ahead of Leicester and Swansea, both at 5/1 with Hull 6/1.”
He added: “There have so far been two major gambles on the market, one saw Hull backed in from 16/1 to 6/1 in the space of a few hours on the day Hull were promoted from the Championship, while there was also a smaller gamble seeing Hastings and Bexhill backed in from 25/1 to 12/1.
“The other odds are 8/1 Aberdeen; 8/1 Portsmouth & Southampton; 10/1 Dundee; 10/1 Plymouth; 12/1 Hastings & Bexhill on Sea; 14/1 Southend on Sea; and 16/1 East Kent.”