Record 20 bids to be City of Culture

Twenty places in the UK, a record number, have applied to be the next City of Culture in 2025, succeeding Coventry.

They include cities such as Bradford, Derby and Southampton, but also counties like Durham and Cornwall and regional areas including Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle and Medway.

The winner will be the fourth since the government-sponsored  scheme was launched, after Derry-Londonderry, Hull and Coventry. In 2017 Hull had more than 5.3 million visits to over 2,800 events, with 75% of visitors saying their perception of the city had changed for the better.

His time bidders will have to prove now they will put culture at the heart of their plans to recover from the impact of Covid, and for the first time DCMS is giving grants of £40,000 to longlisted places to support their applications, and this year Coventry has received more than £15.5m from the government for its year as City of Culture. The winner for 2025 will be announced next year.

“From Derry-Londonderry to Hull and Coventry it has been a difficult and rewarding challenge to select the next UK City of Culture, and the list of potential candidates for 2025 indicates that life in the immediate future is going to be even more challenging” said Phil Redmond, creator of the scheme and chair of the City of Culture expert advisory panel. “The three previous title holders have demonstrated the transformative and catalytic effect culture can bring about, even within places that have been ultimately unsuccessful but have gone on to develop collaborative and sustainable partnerships.

“The list for 2025 also demonstrates the breadth of ambition, aspiration and innovation that exists from coast to coast and nation to nation across the UK and I am looking forward to that challenge of immersing myself once again in the UK’s rich seam of creativity.”

The applicants are: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; the city of Bangor and North West Wales (pictured); the Borderlands region, comprising Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City; Bradford; Conwy County; Cornwall; Derby; County Durham; Lancashire; Medway; Newport; Powys; Southampton; Stirling; the Tay Cities region; Torbay and Exeter; Wakefield; Wolverhampton; Wrexham County Borough; Great Yarmouth & East Suffolk.

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