A record 20 places from across the UK have put in a bid to become the UK City of Culture 2025. The winner will take on the baton from Coventry as the 2021 UK City of Culture and be at the centre of the UK’s cultural spotlight in 2025.
The competition, delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in collaboration with the devolved administrations, uses culture as a catalyst for levelling up areas outside London and putting new parts of the UK on the cultural map internationally.
Entrants have been tasked with proving that they can put culture at the heart of their plans to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Regions and groups of towns have been encouraged to apply in this competition, with a number stepping forward from across the UK.
Bidding for the title in its own right has been shown to have a hugely positive impact on a place, for example previous long-listed bids have used the bidding process to bring together lasting local, national and international partners, share a vision for their area and attract investment.
To ensure as many places as possible across the country can take up this opportunity, DCMS are awarding grants of £40,000 to successful long-listed places for the first time to support their long applications.
The benefits to the winner of the title are huge, attracting millions of visitors and investment and bringing communities together to showcase the place where they live to the country and the world.
Throughout the history of this competition the winning cities have always benefited from financial support to ensure the programme’s success and lasting legacy. Coventry has received over £15.5 million from the Government to directly support its year as UK City of Culture.
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.
And regions, obviously. Think they need to change the name to Centre of Culture, or something …
Here are the entries: