Record number of places bid for UK’s next City of Culture


The DCMS said a record 20 places have expressed an interest in hosting a year of cultural festivities in 2025

Record numbers of places have bid to be awarded UK’s next City of Culture, with bids from all parts of the country.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said a record 20 places have expressed an interest in hosting a year of cultural festivities in 2025.

There is a bid from each UK region, including Wolverhampton in England, Stirling in Scotland, Conwy County in Wales and a joint application from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon in Northern Ireland.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: This record number of applications from all four corners of the country is testament to the huge success of City of Culture in generating investment, creating jobs and boosting local pride.

This prestigious prize creates a fantastic opportunity for towns and cities to build back better from the pandemic and I wish all bidders the very best of luck, he said.

The 20 bidders will be reduced to an initial longlist in the coming weeks and then cut down further to a final shortlist in early 2022. The winner will be announced in May 2022.

Those that make the longlist will be awarded grants of £40,000 for the first time to support the next stage of their applications.

Entrants have been tasked by the UK government with proving that they can put culture at the heart of their plans to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The successful area will take on the baton from Coventry, which is the 2021 UK City of Culture.

DCMS said Coventry is currently providing a blueprint for how culture can be at the heart of social and economic recovery as the country battles out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coventry has received more than £15.5 million from the government to directly support its year of programmes, DCMS said.

The city has also attracted another £100 million so far in capital investment to support cultural projects, such as Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry Cathedral and Belgrade Theatre, among others.

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