The eight locations to be longlisted for the title of UK City of Culture 2025 have been announced.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries revealed the longlist, which had been whittled down from the record 20 bids that had been submitted. These bids came from a variety of regions and towns up and down the country, who had been looking to win the title.

An aerial shot of a Cornish beach, with the sea, cliffs and sand all in view
Cornwall is one of the regions to make it to the longlist

The eight locations on the longlist for UK City of Culture 2025 are:

  • Armagh City
  • Banbridge and Craigavon
  • Bradford
  • Cornwall
  • County Durham
  • Derby
  • Southampton
  • Stirling and Wrexham County Borough

The location that wins the title will receive “enormous benefits”, with previous winners gaining additional investment, as well as welcoming more visitors to the area.

Each longlisted spot will be working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and other experts while finalising their bids, before the final shortlist is released in 2022. The winner will then be announced in the spring.

The eight locations will also be receiving a £40,000 grant to help with their applications.

The longlist was compiled by an advisory panel, with each bid having to explain how culture would be used to “grow and strengthen the local area, as well as how they would use culture to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Sir Phil Redmond, Chair of the City of Culture Expert Advisory Panel, said: “The Expressions of Interest stage was introduced as an opportunity to encourage many more places to experience the benefit of coming together to define and share a cultural vision for their areas, and what the longlist demonstrates is the range and depth of cultural ambition across the whole of the UK.”

“Also for the first time, each longlisted city will receive financial support to help them develop their vision. 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. I am really looking forward to seeing how each story develops.”

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