The cities that have made the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2025 have been announced with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon making it onto the list.
From twenty bidding cities, Armagh City has made it into the last eight going forward for the final.
The UK City of Culture is awarded every four years and offers the winning city a reward of investment, regeneration and cultural events.
The current city that holds the UK City of Culture 2021 title is Coventry and recently hosted the Turner Prize.
Northern Ireland last won the top spot with Londonderry in 2013.
How has the news been received?
Getting through to the final stages will provide a huge boost to the local community in Armagh and there is much anticipation regarding the nomination.
Commenting on the incredible news, the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Glenn Barr said:
“Submitting the bid for Armagh City and the surrounding borough has provided a welcome focus for the Culture, Arts, and Tourism sector in the region, which has been severely impacted in the past twenty months by the pandemic. The bidding process has created fresh energy and excitement around what we often take for granted – our unique qualities, originality, cultural and heritage. It has forced us to look at things with a fresh pair of eyes, and sparked wider conversations and a greater collective drive to lift the region to a new level internationally”.
“Although this bid will focus on Armagh and the surrounding borough, the wider impact for cultural regeneration associated with it across Northern Ireland will be significant if it is successful – and we’re one step closer to making that happen.”
Who else is bidding for the title?
There were plenty of applications for Capital City of Culture from all over the United Kingdom.
These were initially dwindled down to 20, with the next round seeing the 8 finalists being confirmed.
They include: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough.
When will the winner be announced?
It's anticipated that the winner will be announced next year.