By Theo Burman
A bid to name County Durham the UK City of Culture 2025 has been launched today. Durham University will be a “principal partner” of this plan.
The bid, which was submitted by Durham County Council, was organised on behalf of a cultural partnership featuring local institutions including Beamish Museum, Durham Cathedral and Durham University.
Councillor Elizabeth Scott said: “Gaining UK City of Culture status would have untold benefits for the county, and the wider region, giving us a platform from which to demonstrate all that is great about our area, from our fabulous landscapes and rich and diverse heritage to our optimism, innovation and economic ambition.
“It would also place our communities at the heart of a year-long programme of events and activities and lead to longer-term benefits for our economy, our people and our cultural infrastructure.”
The announcement comes after Durham Cathedral was recently voted the country’s best heritage site, according to BBC Countryfile magazine. Previous City of Culture winners, such as Hull and Coventry, have enjoyed massive boosts to local investment and tourism. The process involves a shortlist of six locations, with a final announcement in May 2022.
The University, which is part of the Culture Durham Group involved in the bid, said: “We take great pride in working with our partners in the city and across the country to drive innovation and share knowledge to help our regional communities thrive.
“The bid aims to secure the title for Durham, meaning communities across the city and county would benefit from the national spotlight being turned on our region’s vast and varied landscape, heritage and culture.
“City of Culture status would provide a major boost for the whole of North East England, with significant potential to increase visitor numbers and investment, and to create new economic and employment opportunities.”
Image: James Tillotson