First call-out to artists and creators for Lancashire's UK City of Culture 2025 bid

Lancashire is bidding to become UK City of Culture 2025 and the county is now calling on artists and citizens to submit creative ideas for its cultural programme.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 8:36 am
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 9:45 am
If Lancashire's City of Culture 2025 bid is successful, the county will celebrate for a whole year with an eclectic mix of events that might include music, dance, theatre, art and large-scale public spectacles

The Lancashire 2025 bid team say their vision for the prestigious national event is to present a "virtual Lancashire city of 1.5 million creative citizens" that "connects the diverse identities of Lancashire to reshape a better, creative and more sustainable way of living for the UK."

Held once every four years, the UK City of Culture is a competition run by the Government. Previous winners are Derry/Londonderry in 2013, Hull in 2017 and Coventry this year.

Both Hull and Derry/Londonderry experienced a major boost in tourism, as people travelled to visit all of the artistic and cultural events that the city's bid team had organised. Coventry's year of culture is due to start on May 15.

The Lancashire 2025 bid team say their vision for theprestigious national event is to present a "virtual Lancashire city of 1.5 million creativecitizens" that "connects the diverse identities of Lancashire to reshape a better, creative and more sustainable way of living for the UK."

If Lancashire's bid is successful, the county will celebrate for a whole year with an eclectic mix of events that might include music, dance, theatre, art and large-scale public spectacles.

The bid team say the programme for Lancashire 2025 will "explore the way we live between the real and imagined, to create the Virtual City of Lancashire".

The team added: "This will be a cultural environment using collectively imagined neighbourhoods, physical locations and a shared virtual space."

What type of projects are they looking for?

Debbi Lander, director of Lancashire2025 said: "This is the first time a county has envisioned itself as a virtual city and this is our first call out to artists, cultural organisations, cultural innovators, social pioneers, curators and producers from Lancashire, the UK and the rest of the world.

"Our aim is to put together a ground-breaking programme for the Lancashire 2025 Bid.

"We are looking for new ideas, high profile events, creative projects and cultural experiences for a location in Lancashire - ideas that will bring our vision to life."

Fifteen selected projects from this initial call-out will be submitted as part of the Lancashire 2025 Bid.

If Lancashire is successfully chosen as the UK’s City of Culture for 2025, each project will be awarded up to £25,000 development money to research and develop their proposal for potential commissioning from 2022.

Ms Lander adds: "We are offering up the county as a site for experiment at large scale between real and imagined; inviting proposals around our topics of living, connection, nature and digital.

"We hope to set an international standard for the way we live; illustrating, interrogating and illuminating better, creative and more sustainable ways of living.

"Help us build the Virtual City of Lancashire.”

Details of how to apply and the application form can be found on Lancashire2025.com and applicants should provide their submission by August 31, 2021.

The Lancashire 2025 Bid is due to be submitted to the UK Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) between December 2021 and March 2022.

It has the backing of all the county's local authorities and will be supported by Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, Lancaster City Council and Preston City Council.

The councils will team up alongside the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Marketing Lancashire to deliver the bid.

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