Wolverhampton bidding to become nation's next city of culture

Wolverhampton is bidding to become the UK's next city of culture.

Wolverhampton is bidding to become the UK's next city of culture
Wolverhampton is bidding to become the UK's next city of culture

Council chiefs have submitted a formal expression of interest to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), setting out why they believe the city should be the nation's cultural capital in 2025.

Council leader Ian Brookfield said winning the accolade had the potential to "fast-track our city’s growth, international profile and reputation".

The bid has been backed by Cabinet minister Gavin Williamson, who suggested the idea last month, as well as the city's three MPs and Wolves, the University of Wolverhampton and the Grand Theatre.

Mr Brookfield conceded that the city faced a tough task, as Coventry currently holds the title and "the judges may choose to look for somewhere outside the West Midlands".

"However, we believe that we have a strong case to make both in terms of the amazing cultural assets we already have in the city, our bold plans for becoming an ‘events city’ in the future and the potential that winning this honour would have to fast-track our city’s growth, international profile and reputation," he added.

“So we are going for it, we have notified the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of our interest and we look forward to working with Government to be able to submit a full bid."

Council leader Councillor Ian Brookfield said the accolade would give the city a major boost

Mr Brookfield said Wolverhampton was a "dynamic city that’s going places" and added: "We’re seeing major investment in our nationally-renowned Civic halls, fantastic art gallery, wonderful Grand Theatre, a new five-year event strategy to create an ‘event city’ which has landed us the British Art Show, more major sporting events, investment in new public spaces in the city centre and elsewhere for live entertainment and cultural events, a fantastic new train station and gateway – part of a multi-million pound transport hub and much more.

“These building blocks give us a strong starting point for a bid and we have already done some work to scope the opportunities of doing this as part of our five-year events work."

South Staffordshire MP Mr Williamson said: "Making Wolverhampton the UK's next City of Culture would bring well-deserved recognition to the city.

"This would not just benefit this dynamic and culturally diverse city but would also bring visibility, benefits, and opportunities to the West Midlands, including my own constituency of South Staffordshire."

A number of cities have already been put forward for the 2025 title, including Bradford, Chelmsford and Southampton.

The county of Cornwall has also made a bid, as has Lancashire.

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