Eight areas have made it onto the longlist for the UK City of Culture 2025, announced this week.
Following a record 20 bids, the eight longlisted locations are Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough. For the first time, each place will receive £40,000 to support the development of their proposals.
These places will now work with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids before the shortlist is announced early next year.
Sir Phil Redmond, Chair of the City of Culture Expert Advisory Panel, said:
“The Expressions of Interest stage was introduced as an opportunity to encourage many more places to experience the benefit of coming together to define and share a cultural vision for their areas, and what the longlist demonstrates is the range and depth of cultural ambition across the whole of the UK.
“Also for the first time, each longlisted city will receive financial support to help them develop their vision. Each is different. Each has its own story to tell. All share a common aim: to demonstrate how culture can act as the creative catalyst for change. I am really looking forward to seeing how each story develops.”
The competition, delivered by DCMS in collaboration with the Offices for Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive, aims to use culture as a tool for ‘levelling up’ towns and cities across the country.
All bids were asked to explain how they would use culture to grow and strengthen their local area, as well as how they would use culture to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The winner will be announced in spring 2022 and will follow Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2021, taking over in 2025. Other previous winners have included Hull and Derry-Londonderry.
More on Coventry, and the fundraising behind the UK City of Culture 2021 here.