A record 20 areas put bids forward but only Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough will battle it out to become UK City of Culture 2025, taking over the accolade from Coventry.
In July, Isle of Wight Cabinet members agreed to back Southampton’s bid by becoming a supporting regional partner, describing it as ‘an opportunity not to be missed’.
It is hoped a successful bid would bring millions of pounds worth of investment not only to one of our closest Solent neighbours but to the wider region including the Isle of Wight.
Other benefits could include:
- increased visitor numbers to the Island;
- increased profile in local and national media of the Island as a cultural destination;
- increased Arts Council funding committed to Island cultural organisations;
- increased participation in cultural activities by residents in the Island’s most deprived communities.
Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, Cabinet member for regeneration and business development, has said:
“The Island joins in congratulating Southampton on this important progression of the bid to be the UK’s City of Culture 2025.
“As an official partner we will be contributing to the full bid application, strengthening and adding value to an already compelling proposal.
“With Arts Council England declaring us one of their regional Priority Places and our Corporate Plan identifying the importance of culture, we are beginning a new journey of celebrating and growing our arts sectors.”
The winner is expected to be announced next year.
For more information on Southampton’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid, visit www.southampton2025.co.uk/.