Eight places have been longlisted for the prestigious UK City of Culture 2025 title. Derby, alongside other longlisted bidders will receive £40,000 to develop a full application.
The winner will be announced next year.
A record 20 bids were submitted, with the eight longlisted locations seeing Derby sit alongside the likes of Cornwall, Southampton, and County Durham.
Eight areas will receive £40,000 each to bid to become the UK’s next City of Culture and provide a “creative catalyst for change”.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the focus of the competition this time around was “levelling up access to culture across the country” as the longlisted entries in the race were revealed.
Ms Dorries said: “Winning the UK City of Culture competition has a hugely positive impact on an area, driving investment, creating jobs, and highlighting that culture is for everyone, regardless of their background.
“This year’s focus is on levelling up access to culture across the country and making sure there is a legacy that continues for generations to come. I look forward to seeing what this brilliant longlist has in store as they continue in the competition.”
All the bids were asked to include information on how they intended to use culture to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as how they would use culture to grow and strengthen their local area.
Sir Phil Redmond, chairman of the City of Culture expert advisory panel, said: “The expressions of interest stage was introduced as an opportunity to encourage many more places to experience the benefit of coming together to define and share a cultural vision for their areas, and what the longlist demonstrates is the range and depth of cultural ambition across the whole of the UK.
Winning the prestigious title has enormous benefits with previous hosts attracting millions of pounds in additional investment, creating jobs and attracting thousands of visitors to their local area.
The places will now work with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids before the shortlist is announced early next year.
The winner will be announced in spring 2022 and will follow Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2021 to take the lead on culture in the UK in 2025.
Ms Dorries will also host a roundtable with all unsuccessful bidders to discuss how best they can be supported.