Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, Dehenna Davison and Paul Howell, MPs for Bishop Auckland and Sedgefield respectively, have written to the Rt Hon. Oliver Dowden, CBE, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture Media and Sport to bid for County Durham to be the next City of Culture in 2025.

Crowned as the UK’s City of Culture this year, Coventry has kickstarted the country’s cultural recovery from Coronavirus. As the country bounces back and County Durham continues to benefit from the Government’s levelling up plans, County Durham MPs, coinciding with the celebration for the two hundred years of the modern railway in Shildon, want to showcase not only the beautiful and well-known city of Durham but the whole county.

Asking the cultural secretary for a meeting, the MPs of County Durham believe they have a stronger case by bidding for County Durham as a “County of Culture” and are keen to put it to the minister.

Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham said: County Durham has a proud cultural history, from the fascinating National Railway Museum in Shildon, to the recently restored Prince Bishops’ Castle in Bishop Auckland, to the Seaham seafront, the Bowes Museum in Teesdale, our Museum of Mining in Killhope, through to the ancient Cathedral City of Durham itself.

“In the past, the award has proudly showcased the best of a city but we are making this a broader bid because we want to recognise our rich culture in the towns and villages spread out across the county.

“To be honoured with the award would be unique as our proposal would help open County Durham to the rest of the country and showcase our entire County, not just a City.”

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