Eight candidates for the next UK city of culture announced

Armagh City, Bradford, County Durham and Stirling are among the eight places in the UK longlisted to become the next city of culture, after a record of 20 bids.

Cornwall, Derby, Southampton, and Wrexham County Borough are also in the running to host the year of cultural festivities in 2025, the culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, Vrydag aangekondig.

For the first time, those that are longlisted will be awarded grants of £40,000 to support the next stage of their applications. Entrants need to prove they can put culture “at the heart of their plans to recover from the impact of the pandemic”.

They will now work with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Kultuur, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids before the shortlist is announced.

“Winning the UK city of culture competition has a hugely positive impact on an area, driving investment, creating jobs, and highlighting that culture is for everyone, regardless of their background,” Dorries said. “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.”

The successful area will take on the baton from Coventry, which is the 2021 UK city of culture, with Hull and Derry having previously enjoyed the status in 2017 en 2013 onderskeidelik.

The competition, organised by DCMS in collaboration with the Offices for Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive, uses culture as a tool for social and economic recovery.

Sir Phil Redmond, chair of the city of culture expert advisory panel, said the longlist demonstrated “the range and depth of cultural ambition across the whole of the UK”.

“Each is different. Each has its own story to tell. All share a common aim: to demonstrate how culture can act as the creative catalyst for change," hy het bygevoeg.

DCMS previously said Coventry had received more than £15.5m from the government to directly support its year of programmes. The city has also attracted another £100m in capital investment to support cultural projects such as the Herbert art gallery and museum, Coventry Cathedral and Belgrade theatre, onder andere.

Hull, during its 12-month tenure, had more than 5.3 million visits to more than 2,800 gebeure, cultural activities, installations and exhibitions, en 75% of those who visited in 2017 said it had changed their perception of the city for the better.

Nine out of 10 people in Hull thought that city of culture status had had a positive impact and 90% of residents took part in at least one cultural activity, according to DCMS data.

The new winner will be announced in spring 2022.

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