The new State Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, has announced the longlist for the British City of Culture 2025.
The winning candidate will join previous winners Hull, Derry and the current British cultural city of Coventry.
A record of 20 places competed for the longlist, including previous unsuccessful applicants Conwy County Borough in North Wales and Medway in Kent.
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Bidding no longer seems to be limited to cities, but to regions that want to be crowned “cities of culture”.
“Winning the UK City of Culture competition has a tremendous positive impact on an area, encouraging investment, creating jobs and underscoring that culture is for everyone, regardless of their background,” said Dorries.
“This year’s focus is on improving access to culture across the country and ensuring that there is a legacy that will last for generations to come.”
What does the British city of culture mean?
UK City of Culture is a biennial competition, the winner of which hosts many cultural events including the Turner Prize, Brit Awards, Man Booker Prize and the Stirling Prize.
The previous three winners of the title have all received a boost to tourism and an increased interest in local cultural projects.
A March 2018 report from Hull University found that the city’s status as a British capital of culture attracted more than five million people, £ 220 million in investment and 800 new jobs.
Longlist of the British City of Culture 2025
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon
- County Durham
- Wrexham County Borough
Sir Phil Redmond, chairman of the City of Culture Expert Advisory Board, said the list shows “the breadth and depth of cultural ambitions across the UK”
“Everyone is different. Everyone has their own story to tell. They all have a common goal: to show how culture can act as a creative catalyst for change.” he added.
The winner will be announced in Spring 2022 and each nominee will receive an initial investment of £ 40,000.