British actor Orlando Bloom has thrown his backing behind a campaign to name his home region as a prime example of U.K. culture. The Pirates of the Caribbean star grew up in Canterbury, in the eastern region of Kent, and he wants the area to win the coveted title of U.K. City of Culture in 2017. The honour would bring a series of high-profile cultural events to towns in the area, and Bloom is adamant East Kent deserves to win. He says, "East Kent's bid to become U.K. City of Culture 2017 is the next stage in its creative journey - and it's one I'm delighted to support. "Born and raised in Canterbury, it was here that I first discovered my love for acting. One of my earliest memories is of being spellbound by performers I would pass on (my local town's) high street - before long I was having a go myself as a four-year-old hopeful on the Marlowe Theatre stage. "Like myself, many have found their inspiration here. East Kent has always had a strong reputation for cultural excellence - be it in the field of theatre or literature, the visual arts or dance - and developments over the last few years have only served to cement that relationship. Growing up in East Kent awakened my passion - I hope this bid can do the same for generations to come." The East Kent area is among 11 contenders for the title and a shortlist for the prize will be announced in June (13).