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Armagh to bid for UK City of Culture 2025

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has agreed to submit an Expression of Interest (E.O.I.) application for the UK City of Culture 2025.

Organised by the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport every four years, this process invites places from across the UK to bid for the title by setting out their vision for culture-led regeneration.

Following a full council meeting on Monday, members unanimously agreed the bid will focus on the historical city of Armagh, and also showcase the all-embracing heritage, culture and creativity right across the borough.

Council will now take the lead to submit the Expression of Interest in July 2021 with an update report to be brought back to the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee in September.

Welcoming council’s decision, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Glenn Barr said: “I’m delighted to announce that we will put forward an expression of interest for the UK City of Culture 2025, and I want to thank my fellow members for giving this their full support.

“This is a unique opportunity that would see a major boost in tourism and catalyst for future growth, providing a powerful stimulant for recovery, attracting investment and driving forward positive economic potential.

“We are proud of our borough – our city, towns and villages, and our people who take great pride in the place we live. We want to celebrate and showcase our unique heritage and culture and this would give us the perfect platform.”

The first UK City of Culture was awarded to Derry-Londonderry in 2013, Hull in 2017 and Coventry in 2021.

Council is seeking funding support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of up to £40,000 to help develop the application along with key stakeholders.

The selection process involves a panel of 11 members, including representatives for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, visiting each of the shortlisted places to be announced later this year, before each applicant makes a final pitch to become the next UK City of Culture.

The winning area will be announced in May 2022.

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