County Durham through to last eight in bid to become UK City of Culture 2025
County Durham has been selected as one of eight locations longlisted for the title of UK City of Culture 2025.
Following a record receipt of 20 bids the city and county will now join Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough in the shortlisting process.
Durham County Council will now receive £40,000 to develop its full application for the prestigious title with previous hosts attracting millions of pounds in additional investment, creating jobs and attracting thousands of visitors to their area.
Each location will now work with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids.
The list of successful bids was announced today (Friday) by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries who said: “Winning the competition has a hugely positive impact on an area, driving investment, creating jobs, and highlighting that culture is for everyone, regardless of their background.
“This year’s focus is on levelling up access to culture across the country and making sure there is a legacy that continues for generations to come. I look forward to seeing what this brilliant longlist has in store.”
Tony Harrington, chair of Culture Durham, said: “We are absolutely thrilled County Durham has made it to the next stage of the UK City of Culture 2025 competition.
“Our bid is on behalf of the whole of County Durham and we believe it is our diverse heritage, landscapes and communities that make it so special.
“Our aim is to deliver an inclusive cultural programme that resonates with our communities and reflects our desire to innovate, inspire and grow. Crucially, we want the people of County Durham to be at its heart. This is their bid, and it is thanks to their support that we have made it this far.
“So, whether you are directly involved in the campaign, have submitted an idea or shared one of our social media posts, I would like to say a big thank you.”
Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for County Durham and the North East. Securing the UK City of Culture 2025 title would bring transformational social and economic benefits for the entire region.
"Even making it this far will have a positive impact, with the increased publicity attracting more visitors and providing a boost to the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors.
“Over the last few months, it has been wonderful to see excitement for the bid grow, and I would like to thank everyone for their support. It is vital we keep this
momentum going and continue to fly the flag for County Durham.”
As one of the final eight locations, County Durham will receive £40,000 from DCMS to develop its bid. It is understood the overall winner will be declared in May.