The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that Warrington has not been shortlisted for the 2021 UK City of Culture title.
The town had hoped to impress with it's bid which was put together much later than other cities.
The campaign, which was launched back in March, was supported by Wire FM who ran a car sticker campaign to try and encourage locals to 'back the bid'.
The news that Warrington hasn't been shortlisted brought disappointment for Warrington’s bid team, but Chair, Cllr Dan Price remains positive about Warrington’s future cultural offering:
“We knew the bid would be a competitive process and we presented a strong bid to DCMS, but there were simply towns and cities out there with a more compelling case on this occasion”, he said.
“This was our first application for the title and while we were never guaranteed success, the bid has resulted in local and national media attention that has put Warrington on the map and set a clear focus for what we hope to achieve in the future. It’s worth remembering that Hull bid for the title and lost first time around and while we won’t take a decision now on whether to bid again in the future, we fully intend to build on the work that’s gone into the bid to deliver a cultural offer that Warrington can be proud of.
“I want to stress that this is not the end of the journey it’s just the beginning. Our cultural drive will continue.”
Shaping Warrington’s cultural offering for 2021 and beyond, the bid was led by a public and private sector board with a breadth of experience across the arts, production, broadcasting, creative and digital industries, education and business.
Warrington’s initial bid submission was founded on the borough’s rich industrial heritage, with themes focusing on its development and regeneration, while embracing its unique location, character and traditions.
Cllr Price continued: “The positive experience of bidding for UK City of Culture has presented an opportunity to accelerate our creative programme that will shape the development of cultural activities across our communities for the coming years. There are many elements of the bid that we intend to bring to fruition regardless of today’s decision and the bid has enabled us to start to build far stronger relationships with potential funders which will help us to achieve this.
“I would like to thank the people of Warrington and across the north west who have supported the bid and ask them to keep positively promoting Warrington as we grow and evolve into a wonderful cultural city.
“I also want to congratulate the shortlisted towns and cities and send our best wishes as they progress to the next stage of the selection process.”
Warrington’s aim will now be to build on the opportunities that have been developed during the bid process."