WARRINGTON’S bid team is heading to London to hand over its document to become 2021 City of Culture today, Thursday, ahead of Friday’s deadline.

The town is running against 10 other areas for the City of Culture title – and before you ask any urban areas, towns or cities can apply.
Here is what else you need to know about the bid:

  •  The document is more than 100 pages long
  •  It contains information about the current tourism and cultural offering in the town
  •  It discusses the benefits of culture for Warrington’s health and wellbeing 

The document also talks about its plans for 2021 and what can be achieved between now and then.
These include:

  •  Talks with a national institute about having a base in Warrington
  •  Looking at how the town uses its current cultural spaces and how a broader offer might be introduced
  •  Looking at how to include culture in the big building programmes in town through public art by roads and architecturally
  •  Introducing a creative hub in the town centre to make better use of the town’s creative digital talent, offering a one-stop shop for small businesses and freelancers to offer their service
  •  Making use of the new £107 million Bridge Street development and new heritage hub.

So what is the next step?

The department of culture, media and sport will look at the bids and says a shortlist of four will be given in June.

A new submission will then be finalised in September before a visit to the candidate cities in October.

The final decision will be November/December.


Bid chairman, Dan Price: "I accept that we are not UK City of Culture now but this is about making the best of our resources and skills so we can be by 2021.

“We will be a city by 2021 but we do not need to be a city to apply. This is about getting it right in four years. Hull weren’t City of Culture in 2013 and Derry weren’t four years before that.

“Some people think City of Culture is about delivering regeneration. But it is not. It is about making the most and capitalising on existing regeneration plans.

“And we have those in place and they will be here by 2021.”

Stephen Hough, international concert pianist: “Warrington, where I spent my childhood, has everything to play for in a bid like this and the potential for its growth is enormous. There's a lot to do but there's the space, the energy, the audacity even, to do it.

"The encouragement that winning this bid would give has the chance to bring new life not just to its own streets but to the surrounding areas.

"It can join the dots, fill in the gaps and become the heart at the centre of the north west making the region a powerhouse of culture from the Mersey to the Pennines.

“I am delighted to support Warrington's bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.”

Steven Broadbent, sculptor of the River of Life: "A place full of treasures both natural and manmade, with stories galore that will be told if Warrington become the UK City of Culture for 2021"

Dr Michael Murphy, secretary of Warrington Arts Council: “Warrington is a town of best-kept secrets. We are well-run and the economic progress and employment prospects are the envy of many other towns but now that we are bidding to be City of Culture, we need to show that Warrington has much more to offer.

“We have a vibrant classical arts and music side, which has been largely hidden and it’s time to show it off.”