From contemporary art at the Tate in St Ives to gigs at Truro’s Old Bakery Cornwall is well known for its wide and diverse cultural events and venues.

So it is perhaps no surprise that it is one of 20 areas bidding to become the UK City of Culture in 2025.

City of Culture is a Government run scheme which aims to shine a spotlight onto areas around the UK outside the capital. For the 2025 event groups of towns and local authorities have been able to submit bids which has extended the opportunity to win the title.

Coventry is City of Culture 2021 and has hosted a number of events to celebrate the year, which according to the government has attracted over £100 million in capital investment to support cultural projects, while former winner Hull saw more than 5.3 million visits in 2017.

A glossy video has been produced to help promote Cornwall’s bid, which draws not just on the arts and culture found in Cornwall but also its heritage, sport, food and natural beauty.

The short film, which has no narration and a rock soundtrack, features some of the cultural highlights in Cornwall – in a short 58 seconds you see everything from the Minack and Bafta-winning Bait to Pride Cornwall, video games and the St Piran cycling team flash before your eyes.

Festivals, concerts, flashing lights, artists, chefs, choirs, dancers, models on catwalks, museums, musicians, potters all feature in the clip.

And explaining the bid it is stated: “Our programme, developed across three themes, People, Place and Planet, and cast across three seasons (winter, spring and autumn) will be curated to foster a climate of conversation, connection and exchange.

“Each theme will span the hyper local to the truly global, inviting a layering of artistic, educational and community responses. We’ll use our themes as gateways to consider areas of shared human interest: climate change, nature and sustainability, ways of living, play, minority languages and culture, storytelling and learning.”

The Cornwall bid has been backed by a wide number of organisations including the Tate St Ives, Eden Project, Falmouth University, Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.

And in a joint statement, Cornwall's six MPs said: “We’re all backing this bid because it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase Cornwall’s culture and creativity on a global stage, attracting investment, creating jobs and bringing communities together.

“Our bid has the environment and the transition to a low carbon economy and society at its heart, using culture as a catalyst to tackle global issues locally, and level up areas outside London.”


MPs backing the bid to make Cornwall the UK City of Culture in 2025

MPs backing the bid to make Cornwall the UK City of Culture in 2025


All those which are in the running to be City of Culture 2025 are now waiting to see if they will make the shortlist ,which is due to be announced in “early autumn”. They will then ramp up their bids in the hope of being named as the winner next year.

Like Cornwall, the 19 other areas which are on the longlist have sought to showcase their own cultural offers in the hope that it will secure them the prize of being City of Culture.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service had a look at some of these to assess the competition that Cornwall faces in its bid to take the title.

Videos seem to be a favourite tool to try and turn the judges’ heads and some seem to have some similar features.

As you watch them you could also make yourself up a bingo card for what you might see – trains seem to be an unexpected feature of a many (Borderlands, County Durham, Derby, Medway…etc) whilst all have drone shots flying over picturesque scenes and any old buildings have to be included.

There will be images of artists at work, people dancing and always scenes of a gig with large crowds watching bands on stage.

Some have narration, pushing forward why their area should be given the honour of City of Culture.


The letter of support from Cornwalls support

The letter of support from Cornwall's MPs


Not all the videos are the same – the bid film from Southampton is refreshingly different with a focus on the community and interviews with a diverse range of artists and people.

Some of the bid areas have built websites for their bids with all sorts of information, stories, videos and details of why their city or region is best suited for the title, while others have just included a page on their local authority or cultural group websites outlining their bids.

The full longlist of areas bidding to be City of Culture 2025 is:

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon


Borderlands Region – Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders, Carlisle City, Cumbria, Northumberland


Conwy County



County Durham



City of Newport




Tay Cities

Torbay & Exeter




Great Yarmouth & East Suffolk