Stirling is one of eight areas longlisted for UK City of Culture 2025.
Following a record 20 bids, the eight chosen locations are Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough.
Missing out on the longlist cut were the Borderlands region – comprising Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City – and the Tay Cities region.
Winning the title can see the host city attract millions of pounds in additional investment, create new jobs and bring thousands of visitors to the area.
The places will now work with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to finalise their bids, before the shortlist is announced early next year.
Sir Phil Redmond, chair of the City of Culture Expert Advisory Panel, said: “The Expressions of Interest stage was introduced as an opportunity to encourage many more places to experience the benefit of coming together to define and share a cultural vision for their areas, and what the longlist demonstrates is the range and depth of cultural ambition across the whole of the UK.
“Also for the first time, each longlisted city will receive financial support to help them develop their vision.”
Each longlisted bidder will receive £40,000 to develop a full application.
All bids were asked to explain how they would use culture to grow and strengthen their local area, as well as how they would use culture to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The winner will be announced next spring and will follow Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2021 to take the lead on culture in the UK in 2025.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “I’m particularly pleased that Stirling is in the running for this prestigious award, with its fascinating history and vibrant creative scene, it’s a strong contender for the title.
“The list of cities announced today is testament to the outstanding creativity and culture across the UK – I look forward to seeing proposals develop as Stirling strives to bring the UK City of Culture to Scotland for the first time.”
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