Pontio Bangor
The Pontio Arts & Innovation Centre, a cultural asset for Bangor. Credit: Gwynedd Council

Culture bid launched by Bangor

Neil Tague

The Welsh city has become the latest contender in the battle to become the UK City of Culture 2025.

The bid is led by Gwynedd Council in partnership with Bangor University, Bangor City Council and other partners, and encompasses the city itself, the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales – newly anointed as a Unesco World Heritage site – and the wider Arfon and Anglesey areas.

Gwynedd Council leader Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn said: “We want Bangor to perform as a global, inclusive and thriving city by harnessing our rich and distinct heritage, language and culture to ensure an innovative and prosperous future for the communities and businesses of the city of Bangor and north-west Wales.

“We want people from the area, the UK and the world to feel that they want to come on a journey to Bangor, to feel welcome in the city and that they understand, appreciate and celebrate our amazing and unique area.”

Bangor, which is Wales’ oldest city, faces competition from near and far – neighbouring Conwy has already submitted its expression of interest, while others looking to go beyond the definition of “city” include Borderlands, where Carlisle and Cumbria councils are working with four others, and Lancashire, which is pressing on despite losing the support of its county council.

Further afield still, bids have been advanced from locations including Southampton, Durhan amd Gloucester, the latter two also being city-spearheaded but county-wide.

Siencyn concluded: “Past Cities of Culture have had a very urban focus, and while Bangor is the main urban conurbation in the region, we believe that our bid can connect between urban Bangor and the surrounding rural hinterland. This bid will celebrate our Welshness, our different cultures and our connections to other UK cities and the world.”

Prifysgol Pontio Bangor

Bangor is the second North Wales bidder. Credit: Gwynedd Council

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Seriously? How big is Bangor? 16,000 people? It’s not even a city in real terms. I was there a few months ago and it took two days to find a restaurant. If it takes two days to find a restaurant, I hardly think it can be considered a city of culture.

By Jo