New Bid Director appointed for Lancashire 2025

18 June 2019

Lancashire declared its intention to bid for UK City of Culture 2025 at a county-wide scale earlier this year. Marketing Lancashire today announced that the person chosen to develop that bid is Debbi Lander, an internationally renowned cultural producer and experienced director, with a successful track record in facilitating the access, distribution, promotion and economic growth of culture and creativity.

Tony Attard, Chair of Marketing Lancashire, who is leading the bid on behalf of the county commenting on the appointment said “We’re delighted to have secured Debbi as Bid Director for Lancashire’s City of Culture bid.  Her reputation for creating ground-breaking and engaging programmes that fully embrace innovative technology, shares our vision and will ensure that Lancashire’s bid leads the way in the competition for the DCMS award in 2025.”

As Creative Programmer, Debbi created the UK’s largest programme of regional events for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Northwest England. She delivered WE PLAY, the Northwest’s £10.2m cultural legacy programme for London 2012. She is co-founder of artistic festivals, Abandon Normal Devices, Blaze Arts and Lakes Alive (2007). Creative Director for WE Play Expo. London 2012 Closing celebration at Preston Guild (2012). In 2014 she directed the 20th Anniversary of the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol.

As an advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship in the Arts, she is a founding director of pioneer digital performance collectives, shinkansen (1989) and Future Physical (2000) and in 2019, she joined  the board of Abandon Normal Devices, the AND Festival of art, new cinema and digital culture. Debbi was the CEO/Artistic Director of Forma Arts and Media in London until September 2018.

The formal call for applications for UK City of Culture 2025 is expected to be announced in November this year, with initial bids due to be submitted early in 2020. The recruitment process for the Bid Director was undertaken in partnership with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Lancashire County Council. Next steps will focus on in-depth consultation with key stakeholders across the county, building on the scoping work by cultural expert Andrew Dixon.

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