John Stevenson discusses investing in the arts in Carlisle after cultural bid fails


Carlisle and the Borderlands’ failure to reach the 2025 UK City of Culture long list has been called ‘disappointing’ by the local MP – who met with the CEO of Arts Council England to discuss the promotion investment in arts and culture in the city.

The ambitious offer was submitted by South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) on behalf of the five different local authority zones of Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Carlisle City, Cumbria and Northumberland, which make up the Borderlands partnership.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson said: ‘It is a disappointment to hear that Borderlands’ bid for the UK City of Culture 2025 did not make it to the next stage in the application process, but it did. Nothing takes away from all the wealth of arts and heritage culture in Carlisle. of which we can be proud.

When meeting with Darren Henley of the Arts Council, Stevenson added, “He came to visit partly to see the new exhibit, but also to meet people from Tullie House and supporters of Tullie House.

“I had a long conversation with him about the importance of Tullie House and the Upgrade Fund to get more funding for Tullie House.

“It’s not just a museum and gallery in Carlisle, it is recognized as being of regional importance, it is important that Darren came to visit it. I think the region is more and more confident.

“You can walk from the castle to the Tullie House Museum and the cathedral, and we have history from the Roman period, the Victorians and the Middle Ages, it is brought to everyone’s attention that Carlisle and the border region are a place full of great heritage and great culture.

Professor Russel Griggs, President of SOSE, said: “While disappointed that we were not on the 2025 UK City of Culture long list, it has always been a worthwhile exercise.

“This has helped to show our passion and ambition to the rest of the country, especially around the double crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change.

“We send our congratulations and good luck to the regions and places that have made it onto the UK Cities of Culture list for 2025.”

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