Newport has stepped forward in the contest to become UK City of Culture 2025.
If successful it would see the city and wider Gwent region host a year-long programme of events, activities and projects that celebrate Newport’s diverse culture, boosting the exposure locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Councillor Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council, spoke of the ambitious bid:
“Newport City Council and its partners are committed to ensuring people feel good about living, working, visiting and investing in our city. We want to seize every opportunity to promote confidence and pride within our communities and to showcase Newport and Gwent to the wider world – that is why we want to step up and be the UK City of Culture 2025.”
An expression of interest has been submitted to central government which details how the council and its partners will embrace the opportunity to highlight what our city and region has to offer and use it as a driver for change.
The next stage will see a number of entrants invited to submit a full bid by January 2022. The winning city or town will be announced in Spring 2022.
Councillor Mudd added: “Newport is a city with a proud cultural tradition and heritage. We are the gateway to south Wales, with communities diverse and rich in culture, tradition and language.
“We are also part of a wider region, formerly known as Gwent, where our past, present and future are inextricably linked. We share a social, cultural and economic history underpinned by our internationally recognised heritage.
“We want to challenge and shape people’s views about Newport – to tell the world about our unique culture and our long history.
“Working together with our partners, communities and volunteers – we want to tell our story. We want people to know about the fight for democratic rights here in Gwent. We want to tell the stories of people from around the world who have chosen us as their home throughout the centuries.
“We want to help promote our passion for music, art and homegrown talent – to hear poetry, performance and music in our public spaces, parks and communities and emanating from our establishments large and small. From elite sport and major events to grassroots sport in communities we want to share and celebrate our activities right across the region.”
Newport has a strong track record of partnership working and delivering major events on an international scale. This project would bring together organisations and individuals all with the common goal to promote the importance of the city and region’s cultural wealth to residents and the wider world.
A number of key partners have already given their commitment to the submission including Newport Live, Newport NOW, Celtic Collection and ICC Wales, University of South Wales, Friars Walk, EYST, Race Equality Cymru, Le Public Space, Hywel Jones and Newport Food Festival, Urban Myth Films Ltd, Black Orchid Films Ltd, Screen Alliance Wales, Bright Branch Media, Mockingbird Media, members of both parliaments and our neighbouring Gwent local authorities.
“If we are lucky enough to proceed to the next stage of the bidding process, expanding those links and harnessing the ideas and enthusiasm of organisation across the city and region will be paramount to us delivering a successful bid and events programme.
“The legacy will be considerable – improved access to culture and heritage for residents and visitors alike, the bringing together of communities, the celebration and better understanding of our cultural diversity, and another step up on the global stage which can only enhance our journey of transformation. I sincerely hope everyone will come together to support the bid.” said Councillor Mudd.