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Wrexham into the last four for City of Culture 2025 title

18 Mar 2022 2 minute read
Picture by the Welsh Government

Wrexham County Borough is in the last four to take the title of City of Culture 2025 and attract millions of pounds in investment.

Bradford, County Durham, Southampton are the other areas in the running.

The accolade is awarded every four years by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The 2025 shortlist was compiled from a group of 20 places that registered bids.

The four locations were approved by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries based on independent advice made to the government by a panel of experts led by Sir Phil Redmond.

The expert advisory panel, chaired by Sir Phil Redmond, will now visit the four shortlisted places before making their final recommendation in May. The winner will be announced this year in Coventry.

He said: “Culture can act as a catalyst for community engagement, civic cohesion and a driver for economic and social change as previously seen not just in Derry-Londonderry (2013), Hull (2017) and Coventry (2021), but all those other places who went on a journey to develop their own cultural strategy.

“Simply taking part has proved a catalyst in itself. We have had a great longlist to select from, which made the shortlisting difficult, but I am now looking forward to visiting each of the shortlisted places with the panel to witness culture’s catalytic effect in action.”

Arts minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “The UK City of Culture competition shows the important role that culture can play in levelling up our towns, cities and rural communities – bringing investment, great events, thousands of tourists and opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds.

“We have seen a huge positive impact in this year’s host city Coventry with millions of pounds in investment and thousands of visitors.”

It is a different bid to that of city status as part of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations, which Wrexham is also in the running for.

An area does not have to be a city to bid for the City of Culture award after a change to the rules.

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