City of Culture 2025: The seven contenders for auction with Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon


The district of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​is one of eight regions in the UK shortlisted to host the next City of Culture.

The winner will take over from Coventry, which is the UK’s city of culture in 2021, and will be in the UK’s cultural spotlight in 2025.

Derry and Hull are among the previous holders of the title.

Around 20 regions have submitted offers, but only Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​as well as Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough will now fight.

Here’s everything you need to know about the other seven contenders:


Bradford is a neighborhood built by entrepreneurs, shaped by an international community and a history of world-renowned artists, writers, musicians and social activists.

Proudly proud of his creativity, daring and independent spirit, the organizers say the Bradford story is ready to be told and that its storytellers come from all parts of the world.

With a rich heritage and diverse population, Bradford is the youngest city in the UK. It was also named the best city to start a business.

Bradford Town Hall


Cornwall is home to many world class cultural institutions including Eden Project, Hall for Cornwall, Falmouth University specializing in the creative industries, Tate St Ives, Creative England, Miracle Theater and many more.

As it has shown by recently hosting the G7 and Tour of Britain, the people of Cornwall love nothing more than to share its unique culture – museums, theaters and a thriving creative sector – with the rest of the country and the whole world.

Mousehole, one of Cornwall’s most picturesque fishing villages


Derby is the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, the site of the world’s first factory and a leader of the English Enlightenment.

A city of innovation since always, today it is home to Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, Toyota and many others.

The city has a proven track record of gathering and delivering as a city and current plans to embed culture at the heart of Derby’s takeover include the physical regeneration of the city center, the delivery of the new 3,500 Becketwell location. plazas and the renovation of the Victorian market. Hall and Guildhall Theater.

Derwent River, Derby

County Durham

Durham – both the county and the city – is hoping this accolade will give a major boost to the entire Northeast region.

The initial offer was submitted by the board on behalf of Culture Durham, a partnership of organizations including the Beamish Museum, Durham Cathedral, Durham University and Locomotion and local businesses.

The city is already home to a host of other cultural icons – from the castle’s World Heritage Site to the annual Miners’ Gala, a host of festivals, the annual regatta, museums and galleries.



Southampton, in the south-east of England, is known for its natural beauty, rich maritime heritage and cultural highlights, including its thriving arts and arts scene, open green spaces, and inclusive and diverse program of events. .

Southampton has a relatively young population, with the number of children in the city increasing almost three times the national average over the past decade.

It is hoped that a successful bid will bring millions of pounds of investment to the wider region, including the Isle of Wight.

Southampton Marina and Port


The historic town is the only competitor drawn north of the border.

Stirling’s bid leaders said it will support broader ambitions to strengthen and develop its existing cultural assets, as well as explore how culture can help improve the lives of local people and become the cornerstone of long-term regeneration efforts.

Stirling says he wants to ensure his cultural ambitions amplify his “wide range of talents”, promote it as an attractive place to visit, learn, live and work, and deliver a “lasting legacy for future generations.”

Bridge Clock Tower near Old Stirling Bridge


The only successful Welsh candidate, the town of Wrexham in North Wales, already has experience in hosting important cultural events, having embarked on a Culture Year in 2011.

It has rich cultural assets including the World Heritage-listed Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, one of the oldest football clubs in the world at Wrexham FC and the Stiwt Theater.

Wrexham is also home to Glyndwr University and with a large and diverse population, it has over 30 languages ​​spoken across the county.

Waterfall in Wrexham

For the first time, those on the long list will be able to access £ 40,000 each to develop their full app before a shortlist is announced early next year.

All offers were to include information on how they intended to use culture to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as how they would use culture to develop and strengthen their region.

The winner will be announced in May 2022.

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