THE BORDERS could become the 2025 UK ‘City of Culture’ if a bid by South of Scotland Enterprise and other key stakeholders is successful.

For the first time, the competition will accept joint bids from areas and places across the country.

As a result, South of Scotland Enterprise is working with Borderlands, Team South of Scotland partners and key influencers on an ambitious bid for the whole of the South of Scotland region, which would aim to celebrate the area's heritage, culture and creativity.

South of Scotland Enterprise’s chairman Professor Russel Griggs, said: “There has been a transformational impact on communities which have previously been named UK City of Culture, and the change of criteria to allow areas and places to apply opens up an exciting opportunity for the region.

“The richness of our creative and cultural sector makes us who we are and something we rightly want to celebrate. Inspired by our natural landscape, the sector tells a powerful story about our region. This competition provides us an opportunity to show what we have to offer to the rest of the world. 

“I look forward to discussing further the exciting possibilities of such a bid with partners in the coming weeks.”

The competition, delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in collaboration with the devolved administrations, recognises the central role culture and creativity has in the recovery of our communities and provides a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on what the region has to offer.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for economic regeneration and finance, added: “The Scottish Borders, South of Scotland and the wider Borderlands have an exceptionally varied and deep cultural heritage and are now home to a diverse creative, artistic and cultural community.

“That combination of a rich cultural past, together with a vibrant and growing creative present means this is an opportunity we should pursue with vigour and real ambition.

“Scottish Borders Council is absolutely committed to promoting the exceptional experiences we have here and we will relish working with all partners to promote a strong bid.”