'#Wrecsam2025': Wrexham launches official bid for UK City of Culture 2025

  • Report by ITV Wales North Wales reporter Ian Lang with use of Wrexham's official bid video

Wrexham today officially submitted its bid in the hotly-contested UK City of Culture 2025 competition.

The UK City of Culture title has opened to non-cities for the first time, allowing Wrexham to bid as a County Borough.

It is the only Welsh region that has made the long list of eight areas competing this year and, if successful, would be the first Welsh region to win the title.

Today (February 2) Wrexham officially submitted its UK City of Culture 2025 bid.

The UK City of Culture is run by the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) every four years, and gives areas across the UK the chance to set out their vision for culture-led regeneration.

As well as earning the title, the winning area receives significant investment in the local economy, a boost to tourist numbers and a wide range of cultural festivities.

According to an evaluation carried out on 2017 UK City of Culture winner Hull, the city went on to attract more than five million visitors, £219.5 million of investment and nearly 800 new jobs.

  • Analysis by Ian Lang, ITV Wales north Wales reporter

Wrexham is a region that sees itself very much on the up.

Always a very proud and close community, the past decade or so has seen it moving up the economic rankings with major investment in its infrastructure. 

The arrival of two Hollywood A-listers buying the football team has given this place a global audience they could never have dreamed of. 

Becoming the UK City of Culture in 2025 would be icing on the cake. 

There’s a potential 200 million pounds plus in investment to dream of. What could that do for an area that has often felt itself overshadowed by nearby wealthy Chester? And, there’s always that age-old (but friendly) rivalry with the cities of the South. 

What a feather in Wrexham’s cap it would be.

Along with the seven other longlisted areas from around the UK, Wrexham needed to outline its long-term vision in today's final bid. Key questions included why the area needs to “see the sort of regeneration that could result from being UK City of Culture,” and how winning the title would “leave a lasting legacy” for the area.

What was included in today's bid?

For the first time this year, each longlisted region received £40,000 to support the development of their proposals.The Wrexham City of Culture 2025 bid team drafted today's proposal after carrying out community engagement, consultation and events.

If the bid is successful, a standalone trust will be set up to run Wrexham City of Culture operations.

What's next?

Wrexham will now await the judges’ decision on whether it will be part of the final shortlist, which is set to be announced in March 2022.

The overall winner of UK City of Culture 2025 will be announced in May 2022.