County Durham launches bid to be named UK City of Culture

County Durham is bidding to bring home the title of UK city of Culture.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 12:01 am

The bid – launched on Monday, July 19 – is being submitted by Durham County Council on behalf of Culture Durham, a partnership of organisations including Beamish Museum, Durham Cathedral, Durham University and railway museum Locomotion.

The partnership is also backed by businesses and aims to secure the title for Durham – both the county and the city – after the announcement that, for the first time, groups of towns are able to work together to submit joint bids.

The organisers say County Durham already boasts a growing calendar of events including Lumiere, Kynren, Seaham and Bishop Auckland Food Festivals, Durham Book Festival, Durham BRASS and first class cricket at Chester-le-Street.

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County Durham is launching its City of Culture bid today.

Additional events planned to take place between now and 2025 include:

Launch of the 1950s town at Beamish Museum; The display of the Lindisfarne Gospels; Opening of a new dedicated history centre for the county in 2023 Relaunch of Redhills, the Pitmens’ Parliament and home of the Durham Miners’ Association, in 2023 200th anniversary of the first passenger railway – created by George and Robert Stephenson’s line and starting in Shildon

Councillor Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Gaining UK City of Culture status would have untold benefits for the county, and the wider region, giving us a platform from which to demonstrate all that is great about our area – from our fabulous landscapes and rich and diverse heritage to our optimism, innovation and economic ambition.

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"It would also place our communities at the heart of a year-long programme of events and activities and lead to longer-term benefits for our economy, our people and our cultural infrastructure.

“We are submitting this bid in the hope that everyone across County Durham can benefit – and that those benefits will also be felt right across the wider region.

"We really want to secure UK City of Culture not just for County Durham, but for the entire North East, highlighting the work that is already going on across the region to make culture accessible to all.”

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