Eight places have been named on the shortlist of contenders to be the UK City of Culture 2025.
From 2025, it will be the first time that regions and not just cities have been up for the prestigious award.
The shortlist of eight includes Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon collectively, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham.
They will all work with the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on final bids get stake their claim to succeed Coventry as the UK City of Culture with the vote to taken in spring 2022.
The confirmed recipient of the honour is expected to be announced in May 2022 with the winning city of region then beginning their spell as city of culture three years later.
The final eight were whittled down from 20 nominations that featured The City of Bangor and Northwest Wales and the Borderlands region, which included Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City.
Others to miss out on the shortlist were Conwy County, Lancashire, Medway, City of Newport, Powys, The Tay Cities region, Torbay and Exeter, Wakefield District, City of Wolverhampton and Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk.
Derry-Londonderry was the first UK City of Culture in 2013 followed by Hull, which held the honour for a four-year period from 2017.
Coventry took over the reins in 2021 before the fourth city of culture’s stint begins in 2025.
“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,” said Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.
“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.”
UK City of Culture 2025 Shortlist
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon
- County Durham
- Wrexham County Borough