Programme, Community and Engagement experts join the Lancashire 2025 bid team

23 February 2021

Lancashire is bidding to become City of Culture in 2025; the first time a county-scale cultural programme will compete for the title and the first time a submission will have envisaged a county as one ‘virtual city’.

Tony Attard and Debbi Lander, Lancashire 2025

Debbi Lander, Bid Director of Lancashire 2025 and Tony Attard, Chair of the Board of Lancashire 2025, have led the charge since the vision was launched in November 2019 and have now appointed a team of experts in the creation of cultural programmes and community engagement, to help deliver this once in a lifetime cultural opportunity for Lancashire.

The new team includes Ben Blackman, Operations Director, Sarah Rowland, Project Producer, Andrew Chetty Technology & Strategy Consultant and Loz Kaye, Citizen Engagement Manager. Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice Chancellor of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), has also been appointed to the Board of Lancashire 2025.

Tony Attard, Chair of the Board of Lancashire 2025 said “Over the last year we have made good progress in terms of developing the extraordinary ‘virtual city’ vision for Lancashire2025, and beginning the vital stakeholder and community engagement that will be crucial to Lancashire’s success.

“We’re now delighted to welcome this exceptional group of creative individuals, who will help Debbi as Bid Director.  Together they have many years of experience, as well as the broad range of skills and networks now needed to take our Lancashire2025 bid to the next level.

“With these new appointments we’re entering an exciting stage of the bid process when programme, technology and community engagement come together in a creative melting pot of ideas and ambition, that will make this a bid like no other.”

In a forward-thinking approach to collaboration, Lancashire 2025 commissioned FutureGov, a national change agency passionate about improving the lives of citizens, and Manifesto, an award-winning agency of creatives, strategists and technologists, to work on a project to engage with Lancashire’s 1.5million citizens which is due to launch this spring.

UCLan Vice Chancellor, Professor Graham Baldwin

New Board Director, Professor Graham Baldwin representing Lancashire 2025 strategic partner UCLan, comments “The University of Central Lancashire is proud to be a strategic partner of Lancashire 2025 and I’m delighted to be joining the Board and to be involved in such a bold cultural and creative vision for this great county.

“Through our collaborative work across Lancashire we see first-hand the talent and potential that the county’s hugely diverse cultural landscape can offer, and understand what a difference this can make to communities and places.

“I’m confident that Lancashire 2025 can develop an outstanding and ground-breaking submission to become City of Culture for 2025, and I’m looking forward to being able to contribute.”

Lancashire 2025 will be for everyone no matter what age, gender, race, sexuality, religion or education. Making sure everyone has a chance to get involved is at the heart of the Lancashire 2025 vision and there are many ways to become involved and contribute to Lancashire’s success. Visit the Get Involved section on  and follow @Lancashire2025 on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

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