The first UK City of culture was Derry, and held the prestigious title in 2013. For the first time ever with the 2025 City of Culture, the project has accepted bids from areas rather than just cities.
The city of Wolverhampton is one of the 20 bids left in the competition.
Councillor Ian Brookfield, leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, said that the authority was leading on a bid on behalf of a partnership of arts, culture and other organisations, known as Wolverhampton’s Cultural Compact.
He said: “Wolverhampton is a fantastic, culturally rich, diverse and dynamic city. We have worked hard to create momentum on this to build on the very strong foundations we know we have.
“We’re seeing major investment in our nationally renowned Civic Halls, fantastic art gallery, wonderful Grand Theatre, a new 5 year event strategy to create an ‘event city’ which has landed us the British Art Show, more major sporting events, investment in new public spaces in the city centre and elsewhere for live entertainment and cultural events, a fantastic new train station and gateway – part of a multi million pound transport hub and much more.
“These building blocks give us a strong starting point for a bid and we have already done some work to scope the opportunities of doing this as part of our 5 year events work.”
Sir Phil Redmond, Chair of the City of Culture Expert Advisory Panel, said: “From Derry-Londonderry to Hull and Coventry it has been a difficult and rewarding challenge to select the next UK City of Culture, and the list of potential candidates for 2025 indicates that life in the immediate future is going to be even more challenging!”
The twenty bidders will be reduced to an initial long list of bidders and then cut down further to a final shortlist in early 2022. The winner will be announced in May 2022.