WREXHAM’S hopes of being named UK City of Culture are still alive despite missing out on winning the title for 2025, it’s been claimed.
The county borough was previously selected as one of four areas short-listed to take the mantle as part of a competition run every four years by the UK Government.
However, it was announced last week that Wrexham had been pipped to the post by Bradford.
The announcement was broadcast live on the BBC’s The One Show by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries who said there was a “stiff competition”.
As one of the runners up alongside County Durham and Southampton, Wrexham Council was awarded £150,000 to deliver some of the elements of its bid.
And the local authority’s chief executive Ian Bancroft has revealed a second bid could be in the pipeline with discussions about the possibility already taking place.
Speaking at a media briefing held at Wrexham’s Guildhall today (Tuesday, 7 June), he said: “City of Culture isn’t dead as other winners have had to bid two or three times to be successful.
“We’ve got £125,000 from DCMS to create a really good platform for the next stage of work.
“We’ve also committed to cultural activities in the years 2023 and 2025 so that work will continue culturally to raise aspirations.
“Anybody should be able to be a Thomas Telford, an architect, a Kidsmoke or Royston Club in being a band, an R.S. Thomas or Evrah Rose as a poet or be an apprentice or work at Wockhardt or Moneypenny.”
The council’s bid partly focused on Wrexham’s moniker as “the spiritual home of Welsh football”.
The title relates to the Football Association of Wales being founded at a meeting at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel in the town in 1876.
The cultural significance of the Welsh language also played a key part with the bid logo displaying the Welsh spelling of “Wrecsam”.
Wrexham was named at one stage of the competition as the bookmakers’ joint-favourite to replace the most recent hosts Coventry.
And despite missing out, judges have praised the standard of all of the bids which were put forward.
Sir Phil Redmond, chair of the independent advisory panel, said: “The selection is never about whether one bid is better than another, it is more that one bid has the potential to make a bigger and deliverable impact.
“For 2021 we asked Coventry to raise the bar previously set by Derry-Londonderry 2013 and then raised by Hull 2017.
“Challenged by the pandemic, Coventry have certainly done that and I am looking forward to seeing how far the cultural bar can be raised in BD25.”