Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture Bid - Make it SO!


Southampton has been unsuccessful in its bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.
We send our congratulations to Bradford and wish them the very best for 2025. We want to thank every single person in the city and wider region that supported the bid bringing their enthusiasm, generosity and passion to the process. Find out more > 

The Expert Panel visited the city on the 13 May - Find out where they went and what they did on their visit.

The Arts Minister, Lord Parkinson visited the city on 16 May - SO what's next? 

SO what's next? 

Latest News - keep up to date!

Southampton bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2025

SO25 COC walls projection

Southampton bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

This was a huge opportunity for the city to celebrate the wealth of cultural activity already taking place, showcase the city’s diversity and use these to address some of the challenges the city is facing.
This is all about celebrating what this city has and using the journey to achieve our ambitions as a city.
From the walls, to the water and the welcome visitors receive, Southampton has what it takes.

COC2025 Zoelogic

We are a city of culture, and a city that just gets on with it. 

Over the years we have rolled up our sleeves and got stuff done, but now is our time to shout about our great city and all that happens here.

The bid needed to reflect the people of the city. The bid team involved everyone across Southampton in shaping the bid which was submitted to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports. It was really important that the process of creating the bid was collaborative and truly reflected the diversity and values of Southampton’s people.

Southampton was selected as one of the final four locations chosen to become UK City of Culture 2025!
Following a record of 20 bids, four final places was shortlisted for the prestigious UK City of Culture 2025

County Durham
Wrexham County Borough

Winning the prestigious title has enormous benefits with previous hosts attracting millions of pounds in additional investment, creating jobs and attracting thousands of visitors to their local area.
Southampton along with the other places have worked with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids.
The winner was announced on 31 May 2022  - and Bradford will follow Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2021 to take the lead on culture in the UK in 2025.

SO what's next?

Why did we want to become UK City of Culture 2025?

The competition, which is run every four years, brings great benefits to the winning city.
Southampton could expect an increase in tourism, as well as a boost in investment throughout the city. Leading to a happier and healthier city.
When Hull was UK City of Culture in 2017 it added £300 million to their tourism market and up to £17 million gross value added to their local economy. Southampton’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid was forward thinking and looked to deliver similarly substantial economic impacts.

The Southampton 2025 team asked everyone some initial questions for the process of learning what the city needed and identifying where the gaps may be. They wanted to hear from community and cultural groups, artists, sportspeople, skateboarders, musicians, students, schools and colleges, restaurateurs, businesses, dance and theatre groups, historical societies, and many more besides. Until the city understood the full diverse mix of needs and activities, it could not start to really knit together themes and programmes that would become the city’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.

We have some great people that backed our bid.

Keep up to date with the latest SO25 news.

To find out more visit Southampton 2025 and follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @Southampton2025.

For more information..

If you want to know -
What is the UK City of Culture?
Who else is bidding to be UK City of Culture in 2025?
What would it mean for Southampton to win?
See the Southampton2025 for all the answers!

More information and updates can be found on the Southampton2025 website


Keep up to date and follow Southampton's UK City of Culture 2025 on social media channels



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