The county of Lancashire has announced a bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.
Lancashire 2025 will mix the “urban, coastal, countryside, industrial, historical and technological” part of “our imagined, virtual city”, bid director Debbi Lander said.
Preston-based artist Lubaina Himid said the county had “the potential to be a vibrant hub for contemporary culture”.
Other bids for the 2025 title include Medway, Tees Valley, Bradford, Luton and Southampton.
The winning bid will be announced in December 2021.
The details of the Lancashire bid have yet to be revealed, but a spokeswoman said it would “deliver the most ambitious and inclusive cultural plans ever proposed in response to the UK City of Culture competition”.
In 2017, Himid became the first black woman to win the Turner Prize.
She said the county’s artists were “up for it, the audiences participating here are keen for it [and] the transport links to the region are good”.
“This county has the potential to be a vibrant hub for contemporary culture,” she said.
“Lancashire is a hidden gem; we simply need to get it out of the jewellery box and wear it.”
The Pennine Lancashire area joined the longlist to be UK City of Culture in 2013. Other county areas, including County Durham and East Kent, have previously made bids.
Lancashire 2025 chairman Tony Attard said the idea had always been to build a bid that would “not focus in on just one urban centre and then try to spread the impact out into the rest of the county”.
The idea of nominating a UK City of Culture came when the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport wanted to build on the success of Liverpool’s year as a European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Derry/Londonderry was the first in 2013, Hull was the second in 2017 and Coventry will be next in 2021.