The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have officially announced that a record 20 places from across the UK have submitted an expression of interest to become UK City of Culture 2025 – an all-time high.

The competition, delivered by DCMS, uses culture as a catalyst for ‘levelling up’ areas outside London and putting new parts of the UK on the international cultural map.

Entrants have been tasked with proving that they can put culture at the heart of their plans to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The 20 bidders will be reduced to an initial long list of bidders in the coming weeks, and then cut down further to a final shortlist in early 2022. The winner will be announced in May 2022.

The new winner will take on the baton from Coventry and be at the centre of the UK’s cultural spotlight for an amazing year. We wish all the towns and cities applying the best of luck!

The following towns, cities and regions officially in the running for the title are:

  • Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon
  • The City of Bangor & Northwest Wales
  • The Borderlands region, comprising Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City
  • Bradford
  • Conwy County
  • Cornwall
  • Derby
  • County Durham
  • Lancashire
  • Medway
  • City of Newport
  • Powys
  • Southampton
  • Stirling
  • The Tay Cities region
  • Torbay & Exeter
  • Wakefield District
  • City of Wolverhampton
  • Wrexham County Borough
  • Great Yarmouth & East Suffolk