Southampton named as a UK City of Culture 2025 Finalist

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08 October 2021

Southampton’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025 is a step nearer, with the announcement today that Southampton has made it to the longlist of competing cities.

The city has been longlisted to the last eight competing for the prestigious title that it is hoped would bring millions of pounds worth of investment.

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

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 Culture 2025.

“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.”

An original list of no less than 20 cities throughout the UK asked to be considered for the title of UK City of Culture 2025 with those being whittled down to a shortlist of just six announced last night (today).

The winner is expected to be announced next year.

City of Culture Southampton

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “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.

“I wish all our successful bids luck in the next phase of the competition. Southampton’s bid showed huge promise and I look forward to seeing what they have in store.”

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.”

For more information on Southampton’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid, visit:

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