Preston and Lancashire residents urged to submit ideas for UK City of Culture 2025

Posted on - 1st August, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Business, People, Preston News
Debbi Lander at the Launch of Lancashire 2025 

The Lancashire 2025 team has urged residents to submit their ideas for UK City of Culture 2025.


Since entering Lancashire’s formal expression of interest to host UK City of Culture 2025, the team has discussed and received programme proposals from individuals, organisations and partnerships, who are now keen to be part of the county’s vision for the Virtual City of Lancashire.  

In June, Lancashire 2025 issued a Bid Programme Call Out to individuals and organisations from all disciplines. They began the search to find high profile events, creative projects or cultural experiences that reimagine the way people live, based on the Lancashire 2025 bid topics of living, connection, nature and digital.

Anyone inspired to contribute to the programme could be awarded up to £25,000 to research and develop their proposal. All applications must be received by the deadline of 31 August 2021. 

Read more: Preston’s ‘strong cultural and creative community’ highlighted as Lancashire revives bid for UK City of Culture 2025

Debbi Lander

With just over a month before the deadline, Debbi Lander, Director of Lancashire 2025, is urging those still interested to make contact soon. Those new to submitting programme ideas or to the open call process should speak directly to the Lancashire 2025 team, who can offer valuable help and advice.  

Debbi said: “The Lancashire 2025 team has had many positive discussions with individuals, organisations and partnerships keen to develop the programme in an array of locations across the county, some in venues and exciting places we could never have imagined.   

“It is incredible to see the county’s creativity ignited by the idea of the Virtual City of Lancashire and to hear of the ways that people are reimagining the spaces, physical, imagined and virtual, in which we now live.   

“Given the opportunity to create a virtual city, from the foundations up, all successful submissions will have a digital element, opening Lancashire 2025 to a worldwide audience; a showcase for a virtual city of Lancashire – a city founded on creative citizens, new ideas and partnerships for cultural regeneration.” 

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Debbi believes there are unseen cultural innovations or rare and undiscovered creative talent across the county that may need some final encouragement or guidance to seize this opportunity.   

“If you have a new idea, an existing project, a project in the pipeline, creative or strategic programmes related to culture at any stage of planning, development or funding, we’d like you to let us know about it by submitting a proposal to this call out.

“There is still plenty of time to discuss your ideas and plan and submit a great proposal. We have an experienced and friendly team that is keen to support and encourage you towards that goal. Your contribution could make a huge difference to the Lancashire 2025 City of Culture bid and give you a potentially life-changing experience.  

“Creativity is not the privilege of artists; we believe that it can be found in the imaginations of all people and in all places.”   

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The Bid Programme Call Out is open to artists, producers, curators, cultural organisations, local authorities, creative businesses, cultural partnerships, and consortia, with all sectors and locations eligible to apply.  

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 31 August 2021. A long list will be announced by the end of September, and a subsequent shortlist, selected by a group of experienced creative and cultural professionals, evaluated during October.

After this process, the public will then be invited to vote for their favourites, and a jury panel will make a final selection in November. 

Successful proposals will form part of the Lancashire 2025 final bid application, which will be submitted in January 2022. 

For more information, visit –

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Will you be submitting a proposal? Let us know in the comments below

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