Eight areas on the long list to be 2025 UK City of Culture

Bradford, Cornwall and Derby are among the long list of regions vying to be crowned City of Culture 2025 in the UK

  • Eight areas made a long list to be Britain’s City of Culture 2025
  • Each of the estates will receive £40,000 in cash to develop their proposal
  • Parts of Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland are on the list

Eight areas are set to receive £40,000 each to become the UK’s next city of culture and provide a ‘creative catalyst for change’.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the aim of the competition this time around was to “level access to culture across the country” as the shortlisted entries in the race were revealed.

About 20 regions have submitted bids, but only Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough will fight to become UK City of Culture 2025, taking over from Coventry.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, centre, said eight regions across the UK will each receive £40,000 to develop their proposal to become a City of Culture in 2025.

Coventry is the current City of Culture in the UK, hosting events such as this Ceremony of Light procession in the city's Millennium Place.

Coventry is the current City of Culture in the UK, hosting events such as this Ceremony of Light procession in the city’s Millennium Place.

For the first time, those on the longlist will be able to access £40,000 each to develop their full application before a shortlist is announced early next year.

Ms Dorries said: “Winning the UK City of Culture competition has a hugely positive impact on a region, boosting investment, creating jobs and emphasizing that culture is for everyone, regardless of background.

“This year, the focus is on improving access to culture across the country and preserving a legacy that will endure for generations to come. I can’t wait to see what this brilliant long list has in store as they continue in the competition.

All bids were asked to include information on how they intended to use culture to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as how they would use culture to develop and strengthen their region.

Sir Phil Redmond, Chairman of the Culture City Expert Advisory Board, said: ‘The Expressions of Interest stage has been presented as an opportunity to encourage many other places to discover the benefits of coming together to define and share a cultural vision for their regions, and what the long list demonstrates is the breadth and depth of cultural ambition across the UK.

“Also for the first time, each city on the long list will receive financial support to help develop their vision. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own story to tell. All share a common goal: to demonstrate how culture can act as a creative catalyst for change. I’m really looking forward to seeing how each story develops.

Ms. Dorries will also host a roundtable with all unsuccessful bidders to discuss how best to support them.

Scotland Office Minister Iain Stewart said: “I am particularly pleased that Stirling is in the running for this prestigious award. With its compelling history and vibrant creative scene, it’s a strong contender for the title.

“The list of cities announced today is a testament to the UK’s exceptional creativity and culture. I look forward to seeing proposals develop as Stirling strives to bring Britain’s city of culture to Scotland for the first time.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said: ‘I am delighted that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, and Northern Ireland, continue to be represented in the long list for the prestigious UK City of Culture 2025.

“Northern Ireland have a wonderful heritage in this competition, with Derry-Londonderry being one of the previous winners in 2013. I am confident that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​will showcase the best of what Northern Ireland has to offer. North has to offer in the UK.

“I wish the bid every success before the final decision next year.”

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart added: “In a fantastic field of nominations for UK City of Culture, Wrexham have done extremely well to fly the Welsh flag in reaching the long list.”

“I wish them every success as they seek to become the first Welsh holder of the UK City of Culture title with all the opportunities it will bring to an area of ​​enormous cultural pedigree which contains the aqueduct of World Heritage listed Pontcysyllte, one of the world’s oldest football clubs Wrexham FC and Stiwt Theatre.

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