Derby makes long-list for UK City of Culture 2025

Published: 9 October 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

“The work starts now”: Adam Buss, interim director of Derby’s City of Culture bid Credit: Steve Orme

Derby has made the long-list to be UK City of Culture in 2025 but, according to the interim director of the city’s bid, “this is just the beginning”.

A record 20 cities, counties and regions expressed an interest in becoming UK City of Culture 2025 and Derby is one of eight to reach the next stage. The others are Armagh city, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Southampton, and Stirling and Wrexham county borough.

The government will reveal a shortlist early in 2022 and the winner will be announced in the spring.

Derby’s 11th-hour bid united the city and region, with support coming from 100 stakeholders including arts organisations, industries, local authorities, artists and even Derby’s twin city of Toyota in Japan.

Adam Buss, interim director of Derby’s City of Culture bid, said, “we’ve achieved so much in a short space of time, but this is just the beginning.

Culture Derby is about more than City of Culture, but our bid has galvanised us and we will continue to build on this, with the incredible strengths of our key cultural partners. The work starts now.

“We’ll be reaching out to audiences and organisations to help design our future programme. As we put our full bid together we’ll need to make sure we’re representing everyone and giving a voice to people who are often overlooked. None of this can be done without the support of as many people as possible.”

Councillor Ross McCristal, Derby city council cabinet member for leisure, culture, tourism and wellbeing, commented, “even before our City of Culture bid, culture was firmly at the heart of our plans for the city’s regeneration and recovery.

“We’ve seen the benefits that City of Culture status can bring in terms of investment to past holders of the title, like Hull. In Derby, creativity and innovation are what we do, and we’ll use the enthusiasm generated by this bid to drive us forward to the next stage.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries added, “Derby's bid showed huge promise and I look forward to seeing what they have in store.”