‘Putting The Area On The Cultural Map’ – Carlisle In Cross-Border Bid For City Of Culture 2025

By Rachael Grealish

Carlisle City is among a record 20 places from across the UK have submitted an expression of interest to become the UK City of Culture 2025.

This all time high of entries were announce today, Friday, August 20, after regions and groups of towns, across the UK, were encouraged to apply.

Carlisle is part of a cross-borders, Borderlands region, bid, which also comprises of, Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders and Northumberland.

The competition, delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in collaboration with the devolved administrations, uses culture as a catalyst for levelling up areas outside London and putting new parts of the UK on the cultural map internationally.

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

Carlisle’s MP, John Stevenson, has publicly backed the bid saying it will not only bring more investment to the area, but put ‘the area on the cultural map, where it belongs’.


The winner will take on the baton from Coventry as the 2021 UK City of Culture and be at the centre of the UK’s cultural spotlight in 2025.

Throughout the history of this competition the winning cities have always benefited from financial support to ensure the programme’s success and lasting legacy.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This record number of applications from all four corners of the country is testament to the huge success of City of Culture in generating investment, creating jobs and boosting local pride.

“This prestigious prize creates a fantastic opportunity for towns and cities to build back better from the pandemic and I wish all bidders the very best of luck.”

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 full list of bidders for UK City of Culture 2025 are:

  • Armagh City
  • Banbridge and Craigavon
  • The City of Bangor and 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 and Exeter
  • Wakefield District
  • City of Wolverhampton
  • Wrexham County Borough
  • Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk