An expression of interest has been submitted for the Borderlands region, which includes Carlisle City, to become the 2025 UK City of Culture.

In what is believed to be a first for the national competition, an ambitious bid has been submitted by South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) on behalf of the five different local authority areas of Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Carlisle City, Cumbria and Northumberland who make up the Borderlands Partnership.

Discussions have progressed since the idea was first mooted by SOSE, with a Borderlands bid felt to offer a unique and exciting proposal which would shine a cultural light on this significant area of the country.

By exploring the region’s heritage, culture and creativity, the bid will aim to create opportunities for future development and ultimately bring investment into the region.

The City of Culture submission also ties in with the themes of the recently signed Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

The Improving Places theme will capitalise on the heritage, cultural and recreational assets to promote the region as a destination to visit and as a place to live and work, while the Encouraging Green Growth theme capitalises on the green credentials of the region, to facilitate decarbonisation and the creation of new high value jobs supporting low carbon energy generation and carbon reduction schemes.

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr John Mallinson, said:“For the first time, the 2025 UK City of Culture competition is open to areas and places with a clear focus and identity.

“The Borderlands region has a strong cultural and creative base and following our successful Growth Deal, the Borderlands Partnership has submitted an Expression of Interest to be the City of Culture 2025.

“The theme is ‘Just Transition to Net Zero’ and the Bid - which is being led by South of Scotland Enterprise - will capitalise on the heritage, cultural and recreational assets to promote the region as a destination to visit and as a place to live and work.”

Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council and co-chair of the Borderlands Partnership added: “We are pleased to be part of this unique opportunity which supports and builds on the work of the Borderlands Partnership, following the recent signing of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

“Our shared ambition includes attracting new residents and welcoming more visitors to enjoy the beautiful natural environment and the cultural assets of the region."

The Conservative Member of Parliament for Carlisle, John Stevenson said: "It has great opportunities for Carlisle, it will greatly benefit Carlisle and will allow people to come and see what we have to offer as a city, which I think is great and is often unfortunately under reported and is not discussed often."