Southampton on the Shortlist For UK City of Culture 2025


18 Mar, 2022

Congratulations and thank you, Southampton is one step closer to becoming UK City of Culture 2025!

The Southampton UK City of Culture bid team is excited to announce that we have secured our place on the Shortlist to become UK City of Culture 2025.

Joining us in the next stage of the journey are: Bradford, Durham and Wrexham. The winner of the title will be announced in May 2022.

Upon the news, our bid Claire Whitaker OBE, said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to so many people for the achievement of winning a place on this shortlist. Three years of sustained work and thousands of people supporting us – not just in the communities of Southampton but across the wider Solent region. The bid has brought the city together, embracing the world of creators, children and young people, artists, academics, businesses and civic leaders. This is a moment of celebration for all of us.

Southampton is undeniably a great British city. It is the nation’s front door. We’ve built and developed our maritime industry, put sport on the international stage, developed our cultural sector and throughout the years are known as a welcoming City of Sanctuary.”

Lord Parkinson, Minister for Arts, said today: “I’m delighted that Southampton is on the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2025. This has been a tough competition with a record 20 initial applications and eight outstanding longlist candidates, so this accolade is a real tribute to the quality of creativity on display in the city. I look forward to seeing what Southampton’s bid has in store next!”

Our Chair Shelina Permalloo, added: “Winning BBC’s Masterchef changed my life. And opening my own restaurant here in my home town means so much to me, being able to play a real part of a community that I love. But Southampton winning the title of UK City of Culture will change all our lives. This opportunity is full of promise for a wonderful future.”

International music star Craig David MBE, Southampton bid Ambassador, added his congratulations today saying: “I am so proud of our city, the place where I was born and grew up. I owe everything for my inspiration and success to my family and beginnings in Southampton. This golden opportunity must not be wasted. I want the world to know that Southampton is worthy of this title and that I wholeheartedly back the city to realise its dream to be UK City of Culture 2025.”

Cllr Daniel Fitzhenry, Leader, Southampton City Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted to the final four in the competition to become the next UK City of Culture in 2025! This selection has built upon a tremendous amount of hard work which has gained real momentum over the last two years. 150 businesses, cultural and community organisations, and 10 neighbouring local authorities are all backing us. We have learnt so much more about our city and place together – the needs, the opportunities and the way in which we can bring about transformation the city and region needs to reach its full potential.

“We will continue to work closely with our vibrant and diverse communities, excellent businesses, world class universities and regional partners to deliver a distinctive and high quality bid internationally. Together let’s #MakeitSO!”

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