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Image of student musicians performing in Durham Cathedral

We’re celebrating the announcement that County Durham has been shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2025.

Showcasing all that Durham has to offer

The UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has confirmed that County Durham, along with three other entrants, has been shortlisted for the prestigious title.

If Durham wins, it will bring national and international attention to the County’s extensive cultural heritage and potentially attract more visitors and investment, creating new economic and employment opportunities.

The next phase of the competition will see judges visiting each of the shortlisted locations.

As a principal partner on the bid we are hugely excited by the news and are redoubling our commitment to showcase all the wonderful cultural opportunities that Durham has to offer.

We are working with the Culture Durham Partnership and Durham County Council to help support the City of Culture 2025 bid, driven by our joint belief that culture has the power to transform lives.

Culture at our heart

Our University has a long and proud history of being an integral part of Durham’s cultural vibrancy.

From our world-class collections and museums, to our varied programme of student performances, celebrating cultural heritage forms part of the heart and soul of Durham University.

Our staff and students come from across the globe, making our City a celebration of cultural diversity.

Celebrating County Durham

Durham’s bid for UK City of Culture 2025 focuses on the entire County, not just Durham City, giving the bid team the opportunity to showcase everything which makes County Durham so special.

Transformative opportunity

Speaking about the shortlisting announcement, Professor Karen O’Brien, our Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are thrilled Durham has been shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2025. Gaining City of Culture status would be transformative for the County and open up new opportunities for us to foster and build relationships between the University and communities across County Durham.

“Being shortlisted is a wonderful achievement which recognises the wealth of cultural opportunities Durham has to offer. As a principal partner on the bid we are proud that the University’s museums, collections, visitor attractions and cultural activities form an important part.

“We are excited to continue our work with Culture Durham Partnership, Durham County Council and other partners over the coming weeks as the judges visit the shortlisted cities and make their final decision. We look forward to welcoming them to see everything that County Durham has to offer.”

Find out more

  • Find out more about our support for the Durham 2025 bid