‘Absolutely delighted’: Wrexham through to the last eight to host UK City of Culture 2025
Wrexham is among eight places in the UK longlisted to become the next city of culture, while four other Welsh areas have missed out.
The county is in the running to host the year of cultural festivities in 2025 after the long list of 20 bids was whittled down, alongside Armagh City, Bradford, County Durham, Stirling, Cornwall, Derby and Southampton.
Conwy, Newport, Bangor and Powys had put forward rival bids but did not make the longlist.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Councillor Mark Pritchard, Leader of Wrexham Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Wrexham has been included in the longlist – it’s fantastic news and a real achievement given how strong the competition is.”
Those that are longlisted will be awarded grants of £40,000 to support the next stage of their applications. They will now work with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids before the shortlist is announced.
The new winner will be announced in spring 2022.
The announcement was made by the new Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries.
“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,” she 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 current City of Culture, Coventry, had received more than £15.5m from the government to directly support its year of programmes.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart added: “In a fantastic field of UK City of Culture bids, Wrexham has done extremely well to fly the flag for Wales by reaching the longlist.
“I wish them every success as they seek to become the first Welsh holder of the UK City of Culture title with all the opportunities it will bring to an area of huge cultural pedigree which contains the World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, one of the world’s oldest football clubs in Wrexham FC and the Stiwt Theatre.”
Wales’ Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden said: “I’m delighted Wrexham County Borough has reached the UK City of Culture 2025 longlist.
“We have a unique and wonderful culture here in Wales, which we’re all incredibly proud of. I want the world to know how wonderful it is too!
“Being named UK City of Culture 2025 would be truly transformational for Wrexham, and would be a real boost as we look forward to a brighter, more prosperous future. Congratulations to all at Team Wrexham, and the best of luck for the next stages of the competition!”