How can Lancashire - a county - be in line to be City of Culture for 2025?

For the first time groups of towns and counties have been invited to put in bids to be City of Culture.

By Gillian Parkinson
Friday, 20th August 2021, 1:02 pm
Updated Friday, 20th August 2021, 1:36 pm

Lancashire decided it wanted to spread the impact of being CoC across the entire county rather than just one of the cities - either Preston or Lancashire

Lancashire's bid will see the area as a virtual city with a bold new vision for culture, commerce and creative communities.

How will it work?

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How can Lancashire - a county - be in line to be City of Culture for 2025?

Arts Council funding is significantly lower in Lancashire than in comparable counties and cities - the hope is that a City of Culture success will put the spotlight on the area and bring more funding to be used right across the county.

Four distinct hubs are being created as part of the vision: They are: Uptown (Lancaster District), The Valley (Blackburn & Pennine Lancs District), Down town (Preston District) and The Light Coast (Blackpool District).

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How many others have made bids to become CoC?

19 other areas have submitted bids - more than ever before. They are:

• Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon;

• The City of Bangor and North West Wales

• The Borderlands region, comprising Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City

• Bradford

• Conwy County

• Cornwall

• Derby

• County Durham

• Great Yarmouth & East Suffolk

• Medway

• City of Newport

• Powys

• Southampton

• Stirling

• The Tay Cities region

• Torbay and Exeter

• Wakefield District

• City of Wolverhampton

• Wrexham County Borough

What happens next?

The 20 bidders will be reduced to an initial long list in the coming weeks and then cut down further to a final shortlist in early 2022.

Those long-listed will be awarded grants of £40,000 for the first time to support the next stage of their applications.

The winner will be announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in May 2022.

The successful area will take on the baton from Coventry, the 2021 UK City of Culture, which followed Hull in 2017 and Derry-Londonderry in 2013.