Norwich rules out bid to be UK City of Culture 2025

A spectacular parade through the streets of Norwich to celebrate the launch of the 2018 Norfolk and

A spectacular parade through the streets of Norwich to celebrate the launch of the 2018 Norfolk and Norwich Festival.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Norwich will not be entering the battle to be named the UK's next City of Culture, council leaders have confirmed.

On Saturday, UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden launched the contest to find a city to succeed Coventry in the role in 2025.

Norwich City Council had made previous bids to secure the prestigious title for 2013 and for the European City of Culture status in 2008.

The city, which boasts cultural institutions such as Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich Playhouse, the Garage and the Norwich University of the Arts, made it to the final four in the very first 2013 UK City of Culture competition.

Norwich Theatre Royal.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Archant

But Norwich lost out to Londonderry in Northern Ireland.

And when Hull triumphed for 2017 and Coventry for 2021, Norwich did not submit bids.

Norwich had previously missed out to Liverpool in the 2008 European City of Culture contest.

However, In 2012, Writers’ Centre Norwich, now the National Centre for Writing, led a successful bid for Norwich to become England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Back in 2017, Norwich City Council leader Alan Waters said careful consideration would be given to a bid to be the 2025 City of Culture.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Picture: Ian Burt

Norwich City Council leader Alan Waters. - Credit: Archant

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But the council has confirmed it has decided not to enter the running for the title.

The competition, delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), uses culture as a catalyst for levelling up areas outside London.

Bidders are asked to demonstrate how investment in culture and creativity will drive growth, how they will open up access to culture and to develop partnerships and celebrate links with places across the UK.

A successful bid can bring millions of pounds into the economy of winning cities, attracting tourism, driving regeneration and showcasing cultural events.

Norwich's twin city of Novi Sad, in Serbia, was due to be the European City of Culture for 2021.

But that has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.