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Thursday, May 26, 2022

City of Culture 2025: Bradford and County Durham among those in the running to be named UK City of Culture 2025

Following a record of 20 bids, to eight longlisted regions, Bradford, County Durham, Southampton, and Wrexham County Borough have now been revealed as the four candidates remaining in the running to be named UK City of Culture for 2025.

The successful bid will take over the accolade, which is awarded every four years by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, from current holder Coventry.

Winning the title helps to raise the area’s profile, boost its local economy and put it in the cultural spotlight, encouraging long-lasting participation in the arts, and growth for local tourism.

Previous winners Hull and Derry who won in 2017 and 2013 respectively, have enjoyed

Arts Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “The UK city of culture competition shows the important role that culture can play in levelling up our towns, cities and rural communities – bringing investment, great events, thousands of tourists and opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

“We have seen a huge positive impact in this year’s host city, Coventry, will millions of pounds in investment and thousands of visitors.” He added

Sir Phil Redmond, chair of the city of culture expert advisory panel, said: “Culture can act as a catalyst for community engagement, civic cohesion and a driver for economic and social change as previously seen not just in Derry-Londonderry, Hull and Coventry, but all those other places who went on a journey to develop their own cultural strategy.

“Simply taking part has proved a catalyst in itself. We have had a great longlist to select from, which made the shortlisting difficult, but I am now looking forward to visiting each of the shortlisted places with the panel to witness culture’s catalytic effect in action.”

Tony Harrington, chair of Culture Durham, said: “If successful, we will make history as the first county to secure the title – a title we truly deserve. County Durham is no ordinary county and there is a strong feeling across the region that the time is right for the UK’s City of Culture to be in the North East. It truly is our time to shine.”

Shanaz Gulzar, Chair of Bradford 2025 said: “This is fantastic news! We’d like to thank the thousands of people, community organisations, businesses and the creative community across the Bradford district who have thrown their support behind the campaign and helped us shape what we believe is a winning bid. We’re keeping details of our entry tightly under wraps for now, as the competition heats up, but I can say that our bid is rooted in the heritage and character of the Bradford district, and will reveal the magic of its people, ambition, and above all its potential.”

The final four will be visited by judges in May which will lead to announcing the winner of UK city of culture 2025.


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