UK City of Culture 2025 Bid Opportunity for South of Scotland

Scott's View, January 2021 by Cat McLaughlin

Exciting opportunity for South of Scotland with City of Culture 2025 bid

South of Scotland Enterprise is bringing together key stakeholders to develop a bid for the region to become the 2025 UK City of Culture.

The competition, delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in collaboration with the devolved administrations, recognises the central role culture and creativity has in the recovery of our communities and provides a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on what the region has to offer.

For the first time, the competition is open to areas and places joining together to apply for the title to be awarded to their local area. As a result, South of Scotland Enterprise is engaging with Borderlands, Team South of Scotland partners and key influencers on an ambitious bid, which would aim to celebrate the region’s heritage, culture and creativity, help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and ultimately bring investment into the region.

South of Scotland Enterprise’s Chair, Professor Russel Griggs OBE, said: “There has been a transformational impact on communities which have previously been named UK City of Culture, and the change of criteria to allow areas and places to apply opens up an exciting opportunity for the region.

“The richness of our creative and cultural sector makes us who we are and something we rightly want to celebrate. Inspired by our natural landscape, the sector tells a powerful story about our region.

“This competition provides us an opportunity to show what we have to offer to the rest of the world. I look forward to discussing further the exciting possibilities of such a bid with partners in the coming weeks.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance, added: “The Scottish Borders, South of Scotland and the wider Borderlands have an exceptionally varied and deep cultural heritage and are now home to a diverse creative, artistic and cultural community. That combination of a rich cultural past, together with a vibrant and growing creative present means this is an opportunity we should pursue with vigour and real ambition.

“Scottish Borders Council is absolutely committed to promoting the exceptional experiences we have here and we will relish working with all partners to promote a strong bid.”

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Image credit: Cat McLaughlin