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News County Durham is a step closer to being crowned UK City of Culture 2025 has been met with joy and resolve by the partnership driving forward the bid.

Delight as County Durham reaches next stage of UK City of Culture 2025 competition 

News County Durham is a step closer to being crowned UK City of Culture 2025 has been met with joy and resolve by the partnership driving forward the bid.   

As a principal partner, Durham University joined Durham County Council in submitting the initial expression of interest on behalf of Culture Durham – a partnership of organisations united by a belief in the power of culture to transform lives. Read more about our involvement. 

Today, the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced its longlist of eight locations that will progress to the next stage of the prestigious contest. 

County Durham is among those to have been selected from the 20 bidding locations within the UK and now has until January 2022 to finalise its bid. 

Recognition and investment 

As part of Culture Durham, Durham University is delighted the judging panel has recognised the rich cultural offer and creative potential that exists in the county  and along with the other partners is urging people to continue to back the Durham 2025 campaign. 

The DCMS announcement follows news the BBC plans to invest £25 million in the North East of England over the next five years. Arts Council England has also named County Durham as one of its priority places for investment as part of its three-year delivery programme. 

World-class cultural experience 

Professor Antony Long, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Warden at Durham University said: 

“Durham University is proud to support the City of Culture bid as a principal partner, and it is excellent news for our City and County that we are through to the next stage 

“Forming a critical part of the bid are our world-class collections, museums and libraries, our boundary-breaking academic research, University projects across a breadth of creative and cultural activities, and our students, who are active in hundreds of sport, theatre, music, art, community and enterprise endeavours.  

“We look forward to working with Durham County Council and our other partners in the run up to the final City of Culture announcement and celebrating the wealth of cultural opportunities available in our beautiful county.” 

Next steps 

As one of the final eight locations, County Durham will receive £40,000 from DCMS to develop its bid.  

It is understood the overall winner will be declared in May. The winning location will then take on the baton from Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021, which has so far attracted more than £100m in capital investment to support cultural projects.  

Find out more 

To find out more about the bid, submit ideas and leave messages of support, visit  or follow the Durham 2025 social media accounts at: