County loses out in City of Culture bid – but Wrexham remains in the running

Powys has lost out in its bid to become the City of Culture 2025.

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct could be a key part of Wrexham's bid to be named city of culture
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct could be a key part of Wrexham's bid to be named city of culture

Eight areas remain in the running for the title – including Wrexham, but both Powys and Wolverhampton have had their bids rejected.

There were a total of 20 bids, and the eight longlisted locations vying for the title are Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said has welcomed Wrexham's progression, saying: “In a fantastic field of UK City of Culture bids, Wrexham has done extremely well to fly the flag for Wales by reaching the longlist.

“I wish them every success as they seek to become the first Welsh holder of the UK City of Culture title with all the opportunities it will bring to an area of huge cultural pedigree which contains the World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, one of the world’s oldest football clubs in Wrexham FC and the Stiwt Theatre.”

The places will now work with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids before the shortlist is announced early next year.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Winning the UK City of Culture competition has a hugely positive impact on an area, driving investment, creating jobs, and highlighting that culture is for everyone, regardless of their background.

“This year’s focus is on levelling up access to culture across the country and making sure there is a legacy that continues for generations to come. I look forward to seeing what this brilliant longlist has in store as they continue in the competition.”

The winner will be announced in spring 2022 and will follow Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2021 to take the lead on culture in the UK in 2025.

Ms Dorries said she will also be hosting a roundtable with all unsuccessful bidders to discuss how best they can be supported.

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