Newport will launch a bid to become the UK’s City of Culture for 2025, built on the area’s “proud cultural tradition and heritage”.

An expression of interest has been submitted to the UK government, setting out how the city’s council and its partners will highlight what Newport has to offer.

If successful, it would see the city and wider Gwent region host a year-long programme of events, activities and projects that celebrate Newport’s diverse culture.

"We want to seize every opportunity to promote confidence and pride within our communities and to showcase Newport and Gwent to the wider world – that is why we want to step up and be the UK City of Culture 2025,” said Jane Mudd, the leader of Newport City Council.

Newport will be pitted against other bidding cities and regions from around the UK, including the Conwy area, which entered the contest earlier this month.

At the time, Senedd member Sam Rowlands, the former leader of Conwy County Council, said the region had an “exceptional reputation” for events and tourism and had been put on the map by the “resounding success” of the most recent season of reality TV show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, which was filmed at Gwrych Castle.

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Another contender for the 2025 award could be Wrexham, where the council has approved an intention to bid for the City of Culture status as part of its long-term strategy for economic recovery.

The town will also bid for city status next year to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee. Wrexham has missed out on becoming a city on three previous occasions – the last being in 2012, losing out to St Asaph.

Between the bids for city status and the 2025 City of Culture, Wrexham Council leader Mark Pritchard said “both these opportunities provide a real opportunity to demonstrate locally, regionally and nationally the ambition that Wrexham has to properly fulfil its role as the major urban centre and heart of North Wales”.

Back in Newport, city council leader Mudd said the city was “the gateway to South Wales, with communities diverse and rich in culture, tradition and language”.

She added: “We are also part of a wider region, formerly known as Gwent, where our past, present and future are inextricably linked.

"We share a social, cultural and economic history underpinned by our internationally recognised heritage.

“We want to challenge and shape people’s views about Newport – to tell the world about our unique culture and our long history.”

The deadline for cities to register an expression of interest has just passed, and the announcement of the longlist of contenders will be announced in September. Those cities and regions will then go through a formal application process before being whittled down to a shortlist next spring, with the winner announced in May.

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