Twenty places have thrown their hat in the ring to become UK City of Culture 2025.
DCMS released the list Friday morning (August 20). It includes five more places than had already declared their intention to bid before the deadline to do so last month.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden attributed the record number to the competition's history of generating investment and boosting the winning city's profile; however, the explosion of interest is just as likely the result of allowing groups of towns to bid for the first time.
"This prestigious prize creates a fantastic opportunity for towns and cities to build back better from the pandemic and I wish all bidders the very best of luck," Dowden said.
The list is as follows:
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon
The City of Bangor and Northwest Wales
The Borderlands region, comprising Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City
City of Newport
The Tay Cities region
Torbay and Exeter
City of Wolverhampton
Wrexham County Borough
Great Yarmouth & East Suffolk