Stirling has been longlisted for the City of Culture 2025, along with seven other cities around the UK. 

It was one of three Scottish areas to apply, but the only one to make this year's longlist in the biggest competition yet. 

The eight remaining cities; Armagh City, Bradford, County Durham, Cornwall, Derby, Southampton, Wrexham County Borough and Stirling will receive £40,000 ahead of the next stage of the competition. 

This money should be used to support each city's application, where they must show they can put "at the heart of their plans to recover from the impact of the pandemic".

Here's everything you need to know about the City of Culture competition and Stirling's chances...

What is a City of Culture? 

Every four years since 2013, a city from somewhere in the UK has been selected as the city of culture.

The idea was catalysed by Liverpool's success as the European Capital of Culture in 2008, with the first UK city of culture awarded to Derry Londonderry in 2013.

Kingston upon Hull won in 2017 while Coventry is this year's city of culture, an opportunity the West Midlands city has certainly not let go to waste. 

With a £15.5 million investment from the Government, Coventry has also attracted £100 million from capital investment to support various cultural projects.

The award has the potential to regenerate cities, with Hull attracting more than 5.3 million visits to over 2,300 events during its tenure. 

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said the award is good opportunity for cities to "build back better" from the pandemic. 

When will the shortlist be announced for the 2025 City of Culture?

Those currently on the longlist will work with a panel from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to finalise their bids, before a shortlist is announced in early 2022. 

The final winner will then be confirmed in May.

What will the winner receive? 

According to culture secretary Nadine Dorries, "Winning the UK City of Culture competition has a hugely positive impact on an area, driving investment, creating jobs, and highlighting that culture is for everyone, regardless of their background.

"This year's focus is on levelling up access to culture across the country and making sure there is a legacy that continues for generations to come."

She added: "I look forward to seeing what this brilliant longlist has in store as they continue in the competition."

It gives the winning city investment and opportunity to put on cultural activities to drive tourism. 

Which other Scottish cities applied for the City of Culture 2025?

This year saw the biggest list of applicants yet, with 20 in total including three Scottish cities. 

The three Scottish cities that applied were: 

  • The Borderlands region, comprising Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City
  • Stirling
  • The Tay Cities region