Issue details

Bid Development: Lancashire 2025 - UK City of Culture

Since 2019, a small team with support from Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has been working up a concept for the County of Lancashire to submit to the UK City of Culture competition in 2025.  Whilst previously, the competition has always been contested and won by individual cities, the Department of Culture Media and Sport have indicated that a County-wide bid for Lancashire would be welcomed.


The concept envisages 96 nodes of activity across Lancashire (inclusive of Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen), 4 distinct and seasonally programmed neighbourhoods, all forming one virtual city.  At a time of potentially unprecedented change, progressing and winning this bid could form a key part of Lancashire's bounce-back from the Covid-19 crisis, driving cultural, social and digital skills development programmes and raising the profile of the County at a national and international level.


At present, three other cities have indicated their intention to bid in 2025, they are Bradford, Medway and Southampton.  Whilst success cannot be guaranteed, like these other locations, Lancashire now needs to increase the scale of the team and the initial commissioning of programming which will establish that the County has the capacity to deliver its bid.  Evaluation of past bids in previous rounds (successful and unsuccessful), shows that competing alone has a positive return on local investment, evidenced in increased strategic and commercial investment, plus opportunities for connecting communities and other social impacts.


Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Divisions affected: (All Divisions);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 09/07/2020

Anticipated restriction: Part I  -

Decision due: 9 Jul 2020 by Cabinet

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Environment and Planning

Lead director: Chief Executive & Director of Resources

Contact: Edward Matthews-Gentle Email:, Andy Walker Email: Tel: 01772 535629.


Agenda items