Lancashire has decided to bid for UK City of Culture in 2025 at a county wide level.
The bid will involve multiple agencies from the county including the three universities, the cultural sector, broadcasters and the media, community groups and business.
Lancashire’s cultural offer is every bit as diverse as the county as a whole. In the urban centres, cultural ecologies are enlivening old industrial settings and helping to re-shape their economies. Along the coast, culture is closely linked to longstanding traditions of leisure tourism – a core part of the entertainment industry or ‘experience economy’.
Inland, the beautiful natural environment provides an inspiring setting for artists and artisans, who in turn are facilitating growth in cultural tourism and rural making. A changing population is bringing a new youthful, diverse and globally connected community, which in turn is opening up opportunities for growth and innovation in the creative economy and wider cultural sector.
It is early days in the journey of Lancashire’s bid but the county has been testing support and feasibility for 6 months and there is a high level of backing from the cultural sector and agencies across the county. The anticipated timetable for UK City of Culture is to submit outline bids by early 2020 with final bids towards the end of 2020/early 2021.
Lancashire is likely to be one of 10 or 12 destinations bidding for the title, which is held by Coventry in 2021.