Southampton loses City of Culture 2025 bid at shortlist with Bradford declared the winner

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A HAMPSHIRE city has lost out on being named the UK’s next City of Culture – with Southampton’s bid losing to Bradford.

Southampton faced-off against Bradford, County Durham, and Wrexham County Borough for the top spot.

The 2025 title includes attracting millions of pounds in additional investment to help boost regeneration, as well as hundreds of events and growth for local tourism.

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But Southampton fell at the final hurdle, with culture secretary Nadine Dorries declaring that Bradford has clinched the title this evening.

The official Twitter account for the Southampton 2025 bid was gracious in defeat, congratulating the winning city.

A tweet from the account read: ‘A heartfelt congratulations to @bradford2025.

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‘Thank you Southampton- the #CityofCulture2025 journey has brought our city together, celebrated our home, and unlocked ambitions. This is not the end of our journey, we march on!’

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The O2 Guildhall venue in Southampton, in the UKThe O2 Guildhall venue in Southampton, in the UK
The O2 Guildhall venue in Southampton, in the UK

Southampton's bid had gained support from celebrities like Craig David and Tommy Jessop, as well as businesses like West Quay and Associated British Ports.

Bradford will take the baton from Coventry, which was the 2020 City of Culture.

Bradford will receive £275,000 in initial seed funding, while each of the runners up will also receive a grant of £125,000 to ​​support the​ development of key elements of the​ir​ bid​s​.

Nadine Dorries said​ Bradford was a ‘worthy winner’ of the 2025 title against stiff competition.

The culture secretary added: ‘Art and culture should be accessible to everyone and this prestigious title will help Bradford deliver unforgettable events for communities on their doorstep.’