Can the county of Lancashire become the City of Culture for 2025?

City of culture bid leader Debbie Lander
City of culture bid leader Debbie Lander

A formal bid will be submitted in the spring for Lancashire to become ‘City of Culture.’

The cities and towns of Lancashire are joining forces to launching a bid for City of Culture status - for the whole county.

Organisers say that the flagship competition often alienates rural communities -so Lancashire will submit as a county to include everywhere.

Coventry will become City of Culture in 2021 and Lancashire wants to take the crown in 2025.

Lancashire, home to the first Sirloin cut of beef in 1617, attracts over 69 million visitors each year, organisers say.

The county hosts the largest collection of Tiffany glass, while Lancaster Castle was the location of the 1612 witch trials.

MORE: Debbie Lander on her new role leading Lancashire's bid for City of Culture status
Tony Attard, chair of Lancashire 2025, said: “From the very beginning we were focused on constructing a bid that would include the whole of Lancashire, not focus in on just one urban centre.

“Lancashire is 80% rural, with 137 miles of coastline, assets that add immense value to our cultural landscape and that we want to emphasise, not underplay.

“We also have significant urban centres, all of which have their own distinct identities, none of which dominate in scale and again, each one with assets that will add weight to our bid. “

Organisers says the bid will be formally submitted in the spring.

Debbi Lander, bid director, said: “Future cities should not be constrained by historic or geographic boundaries.

“Digital technology and connectivity has enabled the creation of new places or spaces more so than urban centres.”

Former Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, who is professor of contemporary art at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “Lancashire is a hidden gem. We simply need to get it out of the jewellery box and wear it.”

Lancashire County Council area includes the cities of Preston and Lancaster but not the cities of Manchester or Liverpool.

The cities and towns involved in the bid are: Burnley, Blackburn, Preston, Blackpool, Accrington, Morecambe, Lancaster, Fleetwood, Chorley, Clitheroe, Garstang, Ormskirk, Lytham and St Anne’s, Poulton-le-Fylde.

Lancashire’s rivals will include Southampton, Chelmsford, Luton, Northampton, Tees Valley and Bradford.

The title that gives access to large amounts of national funds and a place on the world stage .