Everything you want to know about UK City of Culture, Stoke-on-Trent's bid and how you can get involved

About The Bid

Welcome to the next chapter in the story of Stoke-on-Trent! We're bidding to become UK City of Culture 2021, an initiative that could change our city forever. If we win, we could see significant social and economic benefits to the area. But we need your help! Over the next few months, you’ll start to see a number of ways to get involved, however if you have any ideas or thoughts already, you can contact us here.

We love Stoke-on-Trent and believe that becoming City of Culture will bring huge benefits not just to the area, but to you. YOU - the people who live and work here, YOU - the businesses that are thriving here and YOU - the children, our future generation. Whether it's eating our local delicacy, the oatcake, being amongst the country's loudest football chanters at a Stoke City match, rocking out at our highly acclaimed gig venue the Sugarmill or visiting the beautifully restored spitfire at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, culture in one sense or another drips from every pore in the city.

We’re a proud people, across six towns and one city, built on a history of industrial greatness and we’re seeing a resurgence of all things that made this place great. We want to capitalise on the opportunities that UK City of Culture 2021 would bring to the city to propel Stoke-on-Trent forward in to greatness, not just through a truly unique arts and culture offer but for the future of the city overall. More quality jobs, better transport connections, opportunities to embrace our entrepreneurial spirit and a city that thrives and grows with its people. A home to be proud of.

We believe the time is right and the time is now for Stoke-on-Trent. We hope you do too. Please support our bid and help us make Stoke-on-Trent as UK City of Culture 2021 a reality.

Why do we want to become UK City of Culture 2021?

Bottom line, we're incredibly proud of our past, and want to create an equally as impressive future for the city. Becoming UK City of Culture is a once in a generation opportunity. If we’re successful, the benefits to the city would be enormous. We’ll see new jobs, an estimated 1 million visitors from all over the world who will boost our economy; international cultural events that will make you stop in your tracks, enormous benefits for our communities as well as improved educational opportunities for our children.

Over 1m people visited Derry-Londonderry during their reign as UK City of Culture. And it's estimated that being the UK City of Culture 2017 will deliver a £60million boost to Hull’s local economy in 2017 alone. Winning UK City of Culture 2021 would be the biggest historical landmark to occur in our city since the Potteries Industry was thriving.

What is UK City of Culture?

UK City of Culture is a title given to a city in the United Kingdom whereby the city creates a national cultural event programme for one year. The initiative is administered and judged by the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It aims to celebrate culture and bring a number of significant social and economic benefits to an area. It is a hard fought competition that is entered by several cities in the UK. The title is awarded once every four years.

The programme aims to:

  1. Encourage the use of culture and creativity as a catalyst for change.
  2. Promote the development of new partnerships.
  3. Encourage ambition, innovation and inspiration in cultural and creative activity.
  4. Align the cultural excellence of national arts organisations to support the year with cultural highlights that will attract media attention, encourage national tourism and change perceptions of our dear old city.