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Stirling bids farewell to City of Culture hopes

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Stirling’s hopes of becoming the 2025 City of Culture, have been dashed after failing to make the final shortlist.

The decision was announced this morning by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, as Bradford, County Durham, Southampton, and Wrexham progressed to the final four.

Image Credit – Stirling Council

Stirling’s bid was Scotland’s sole representative amongst the “record 20 initial applications” after applications from the Tay Cities and Borders regions failed to make the longlist.

Arts Minister, Lord Parkinson thanked Stirling for the  “hard work and commitment” that went into the bid leaving “an impact that’s felt for years to come.”

Stirling Council Chief Executive, Carol Beattie, admitted to feeling “slightly deflated” but promised “today is not the end”, declaring “Stirling is alive with culture”

In her statement she spoke of how the bid had restored “a sense of civic pride and optimism after the challenges of the pandemic” and thanked everyone who had worked on making the bid possible.

Image Credit – Forth Valley College

The bid worked with Scene Stirling and well over 100 partners, including the University of Stirling.

Scene Stirling Manager, Kevin Harrison, spoke of the “incredible journey” the bid and its partners had been on, promising their commitment to continue working towards realising Stirling’s arts and cultural ambitions.

The city will be experiencing a busy cultural calendar over the next few years kicking off with a programme of events to celebrate 20 years since Stirling was granted city status.

Celebrating its 20th birthday, The Tolbooth will be included in the host of events for Stirling’s anniversary.

Scottish-band, Texas, will be headlining a special summer show at Stirling City Park, whilst next year the city will be playing host to 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships time trial.

Image Credit – The Tolbooth Arts Centre

The UK City of Culture award started, following the success of Liverpool’s time as European Capital of Culture in 2008. A city is selected every four years which typically leads to an increase in tourism, funding, and publicity for those that have won. Previous winners include Derry/Londonderry, Kingston-upon-Hull (Hull), and current holders, Coventry.

The winner of the award will be announced in May.

Featured Image Credit – Scene Stirling

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