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Southampton named as UK City of Culture 2025 finalist

Southampton News

SOUTHAMPTON is still on track to be crowned the UK's City of Culture after making the last eight cities in the contest.

Announced today, the city has been handed a boost of £40K to help with its 2025 bid.

The finalists also include Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough.

Now the eight areas are set to be handed £40,000 each to bid to become the UK’s next City of Culture and provide a “creative catalyst for change”.

Around 20 areas put bids forward, but only eight will battle it out to become UK City of Culture 2025, taking over the accolade from Coventry.

For the first time, those on the longlist will be able to access £40,000 each to develop their full application ahead of a shortlist being announced early next year.

Claire Whitaker OBE, Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture Bid Director said: “We are delighted with the news today that Southampton has been chosen to go through to the next stage of the bid to be UK City of Culture2025.

“The way that Southampton has come together to get behind our bid is unprecedented for our city, and I want to thank everyone for their belief and unwavering support.

“We now move forward with confidence and optimism to the next chapter of our story to become UK City of Culture in 2025.”

Daniel Fitzhenry, leader of Southampton City Council and Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture trustee, said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the news today that we have made it to the next stage of the UK City of Culture 2025 bidding process.

“We are a city of opportunity, and culture is so important in fostering our sense of identity and pride in place.

“As seen with other winning cities, UK City of Culture status brings with it huge economic and social benefits, and I am really excited as we move forward with our eyes firmly on the prize for Southampton.

“Culture is vital to encourage more visitors to the city and create economic growth which is a key part of our plans to get Southampton moving.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries added: “Culture is for everyone, regardless of their background and I’m delighted that the bids from our eight longlisted places will help areas across the UK level up by increasing access to culture.”

Source: Daily Echo