City of Culture: Bradford, County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough compete for title

Credit: PA/Craig Colville for Wrexham City of Culture bid 2025

The winner of the UK City of Culture 2025 is set to be unveiled later today.

Bradford, County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough are the four areas in the running for the title.

Here's all you need to know.

Where's in the running?

The four finalists were whittled down from a record 20 initial bids.

This was reduced at first to eight outstanding long list applications, which also included Cornwall, Derby, Stirling and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.

Only Bradford, County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough made it through to the final judging.

For the first time this year groups of towns were able to join together and apply for the title to be awarded to their local area.

Coventry was crowned as the winner last time around.

A carnival through the streets of Coventry marking the closing weekend of Coventry UK city of culture Credit: Jacob King/PA

How is the City of Culture decided?

Bids for the title are asked to explain how they would use culture to grow and strengthen their local area.

A new element to the application this year also asks how the area would use culture to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The competition is delivered by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) in collaboration with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The winner of the bid will be announced in Coventry on Tuesday evening.

What does it mean to be crowned City of Culture?

The big benefit is the funding.

The winner attracts millions of pounds in additional investment, according to the government website, to help boost regeneration.

The area also gets a year in the "cultural spotlight" with hundreds of events encouraging long-lasting participation in the arts, and growth for local tourism.

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"The UK City of Culture competition shows the important role that culture can play in levelling up our towns, cities and rural communities - bringing investment, great events, thousands of tourists, and opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds," Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said.

Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021, saw more than £172 million invested in various cultural programmes, buildings and public transport. A further £500 million has been ploughed into the city’s regeneration since it was confirmed as the UK City of Culture.