Cornwall, Torbay and Exeter in the running for City of Culture accolade

  • Watch what people think of Cornwall's bid to become City of Culture above

Three south west spots are in the running to become the next City of Culture.

A record 20 places from across the UK have put in a bid -  an all time high of entries for the prestigious competition.

Despite not being a city, Cornwall has successfully bid for a chance to become the UK's cultural hotspot from 2025.

For the first time, groups of towns were able to join together and apply for the title, meaning Cornwall was eligible to bid.

Exeter and Torbay are also competing for the accolade together.

An aerial view of part of Torbay

The winner will take on the baton from Coventry as the 2021 UK City of Culture and be at the centre of the UK’s cultural spotlight in 2025.

Back in June, Actor and writer Dawn French, who lives in Cornwall and is Chancellor of Falmouth University said: "Cornwall is a place of huge creativity and culture and while it might seem strange that a rural area is bidding for City of Culture, it is usual for Cornwall to be challenging perceptions and rewriting the rules.

"Falmouth University will be a key partner, using its expertise in the visual arts, theatre and screen industries to help make the case for 2025 to be the year Cornwall takes centre stage."

The competition, delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in collaboration with the devolved administrations, uses culture as a catalyst for levelling up areas outside London and putting new parts of the UK on the cultural map internationally.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "This record number of applications from all four corners of the country is testament to the huge success of City of Culture in generating investment, creating jobs and boosting local pride.

Entrants have been asked to prove they can put culture at the heart of their plans to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

To ensure as many places as possible across the country can take up this opportunity, DCMS are awarding grants of £40,000 to successful long-listed places for the first time to support their applications.

The benefits to the winner of the title are huge, attracting millions of visitors and investment and bringing communities together to showcase the place where they live to the country and the world.

The full list of bidders:

  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

  • The City of Bangor and Northwest Wales

  • The Borderlands region, comprising Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City

  • Bradford

  • Conwy County

  • Cornwall

  • Derby

  • County Durham

  • Lancashire

  • Medway

  • City of Newport

  • Powys

  • Southampton

  • Stirling

  • The Tay Cities region

  • Torbay and Exeter

  • Wakefield District

  • City of Wolverhampton

  • Wrexham County Borough

  • Great Yarmouth & East Suffolk