Five local authorities team up for City of Culture bid

An expression of interest has been submitted for the Borderlands region to become the 2025 UK City of Culture.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 3:14 pm
Borderlands is aiming to be City of Culture in 2025

Initially it had been thought that Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council would join forces to make a bid for the south of Scotland region.

However, in what is believed to be a first for the competition, South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has submitted a bid on behalf of the five local authorities who make up the Borderlands Partnership area - Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Carlisle City, Cumbria and Northumberland .

A Borderlands bid was felt to offer a unique and exciting proposal which would shine a cultural light on this significant area of the country.

By exploring the region’s heritage, culture and creativity, the bid will aim to create opportunities for future development and ultimately bring investment into the region, as well as tying in with the themes of the recently signed Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

The potential benefits of being named a UK City of Culture are significant, as highlighted by this year’s winner Coventry.

The West Midlands city is predicted to witness an economic boost of £211m, welcome an additional 2.5m visitors, attract 10,000 volunteers and create more than 900 jobs.

SOSE chairman, Professor Russel Griggs, said: “This truly is a unique UK City of Culture bid and one all partners involved in it believe is worth progressing.

"By combining the efforts of the Borderlands partners, our bid now has the creative and cultural talent of five areas, providing a significant and varied offering which we believe is worth telling across the country, and beyond.

“Coupled with our natural landscape, our people, our heritage and our joint journey to Net Zero, we believe the Borderlands is the right place at the right time to take forward this exciting opportunity for our region.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council leader and Borderlands Partnership co-chairwoman, Councillor Elaine Murray, added: “This would be a natural fit with the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal which has a focus on economic growth through the development of place including the distinctive cultures of our towns.”