UK City of Culture 2025 unveiled as Bradford wins title – full list of places that have applied

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced the winner of the quadrennial title live on BBC program The One Show after Coventry received hundreds of millions in funding for its title in 2021

A view of Bradford city centre
A view of Bradford city centre

Bradford was unveiled tonight as Britain’s next City of Culture.

The area will hold the prestigious title in 2025, following in the footsteps of Coventry, Derry/Londonderry and Hull.

The benefits of scooping the gong include millions of dollars in investment to boost recovery, a year in the cultural spotlight with hundreds of events, and a tourism bonanza.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced the winner of the title, which has been awarded every four years since 2013, live on BBC’s The One Show.

Twenty applicants were reduced to a shortlist of four, with Bradford, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough not getting the gong.

But Ms Dorries said those who didn’t win will go home with £125,000 each.

Teams from each area cheered and ohh as the winner was revealed in a gold envelope.

Bradford, pictured, has scooped the gong


AFP via Getty Images)

The West Yorkshire city of 500,000 transformed itself from a market town into the ‘Wool Capital of the World’ during the Industrial Revolution.

Cultural treasures include the Bronte Parsonage Museum honoring the famous writer sisters, the industrial-era village of Saltaire, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the National Science and Media Museum.

Bradford has received initial funding of £275,000 to begin work on the project.

The three runners-up will each receive £125,000 to match part of their bids if possible.

Bradford is already using £20m from the Tories Leveling Up Fund to invest in its Squire Lane Wellbeing and Enterprise Center and a £4m grant to convert the Bradford Odeon into a 4,000-seat live music venue.

But Tory ministers made the announcement just six months after downgrading Bradford in the government’s high-speed rail plan.

Plans for a through station on a new Northern Powerhouse railway line between Leeds and Manchester have been scrapped in a move branded a “treason”.

Performers take part in a ‘This is the City’ carnival through the streets of Coventry



Last winner Coventry had pumped more than £172m into concerts, public art exhibitions and a new children’s playground in the city centre.

Events included the Soweto Gospel Choir, a parody musical about the TV show Friends, and a children’s show featuring puppet dragons and mythical creatures.

The city also received £500m in redevelopment funding.

A panel of experts led by Sir Phil Redmond, who created the Brookside, Grange Hill and Hollyoaks soaps, visited the four shortlisted locations before making their final recommendation.

He said last night: “Culture is a great catalyst for change and the year is the best marketing exercise a city could have to bring about change.”

The eight long-listed winners received a £40,000 bursary to support their applications.

Coventry, pictured, was the final City of Culture for 2021



Sir Phil said: “The attendance alone has proved to be a catalyst.”

Cornwall, Derby, Stirling and a joint Northern Ireland bid from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​were among those not shortlisted.

The idea of ​​the City of Culture was the brainchild of the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, during his time as Minister in Gordon Brown’s Labor Government.

The program was designed to promote the arts outside of London.

Complete list of first bids:

  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

  • The City of Bangor and North West Wales

  • The Borderlands region consisting of Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City

  • Bradford

  • Conwy County

  • Cornwall

  • derbies

  • County Durham

  • Lancashire

  • Medway

  • City of Newport

  • Powys

  • southampton

  • Stirling

  • The Tay Cities region

  • Torbay and Exeter

  • Wakefield District

  • City of Wolverhampton

  • District of Wrexham County

  • Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk

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