The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced tonight, Friday, that the ABC25 bid for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon has not made it through to the final stage in the bid to win UK City of Culture 2025.
The four successful cities to make it through are Bradford, County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough.
Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “I’m hugely grateful to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon for their superb bid to be the UK City of Culture 2025. I hope their involvement in the process leaves a lasting cultural legacy in this fantastic region to help bring increased tourism, spark people’s creativity and create jobs.”
Despite the disappointment, the Council is pledging to ensure that arts, culture and heritage remain firmly in the spotlight, as it continues its ambition to shine a light on the wealth of amazing arts and cultural groups, heritage attractions and activities across the borough.
As part of the bidding process, the Council has already established extensive cultural regeneration plans to attract investment into the area’s infrastructure and cultural sectors, to build on the positive momentum generated by the competition.
Commenting on the announcement the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Glenn Barr said: “Although we are disappointed today, we are thrilled to have been part of this exciting journey. By bidding for City of Culture we have experienced so much positivity locally, nationally and internationally, that I am confident the vision behind ABC25 will progress into the future.
“As a Council, we are committed to securing further investment to continue our bold ambition for the borough – to profile and celebrate our people, our place and our story on an international stage.
“I want to thank the bid team and everyone who supported us on this journey – the organisations, the businesses, our partners, and of course our amazing community. I am confident our borough will achieve many great things in the future – we have much to look forward to and I know our story will prevail.”
The bidding process has highlighted the unique qualities of the borough on a national stage and positively rejuvenated civic interest, and pride. It has also created a uniting force for local communities and organisations, who now have an
established platform to continue working together to create new and innovative partnerships that will become part of the lasting legacy of ABC25.