Three Scottish areas have applied to become the UK’s city of culture in 2025, in the most highly contested competition ever.
Twenty cities across all four nations have put forward a bid to host a year of cultural activities.
Scotland, the Tay cities region and the Scottish Borders including Dumfries and Galloway have all put in an application to become the new city of culture, an accolade which attracts thousands of visitors to the chosen place.
With the winner due to be announced in 2022, here’s everything you need to know about the city of culture competition.
What is the city of culture?
Every four years since 2013, a city from somewhere in the UK has been selected as the city of culture.
The idea was catalysed by Liverpool’s success as the European Capital of Culture in 2008, with the first UK city of culture awarded to Derry Londonderry in 2013.
Kingston upon Hull won in 2017 while Coventry is this year’s city of culture, an opportunity the West Midlands city has certainly not let go to waste.
With a £15.5 million investment from the Government, Coventry has also attracted £100 million from capital investment to support various cultural projects.
The award has the potential to regenerate cities, with Hull attracting more than 5.3 million visits to over 2,300 events during its tenure.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said the award is good opportunity for cities to “build back better” from the pandemic.
This year’s initial 20 bidders will be reduced down to a longlist over the next few weeks, with those successful receiving £40,000 to support their bid.
A shortlist will then be announced in early 2022 before the final winner is confirmed in May.
Which other cities have bid to become the 2025 city of culture?
These are the twenty cities that have submitted bids to become the 2025 UK city of culture:
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon
- The City of Bangor and Northwest Wales
- The Borderlands region, comprising Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City
- Conwy County
- County Durham
- City of Newport
- The Tay Cities region
- Torbay and Exeter
- Wakefield District
- City of Wolverhampton
- Wrexham County Borough
- Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk.