Why County Durham deserves to be crowned City of Culture 2025 - and when the decision will be made

Newcastle’s neighbours to the south could give the region a huge boost tonight...

The long wait for which area will be named UK city of culture is almost at an end, bringing months of campaigning and promoting almost to an end.

The four cities/areas in the running for the title are Wrexham, Bradford, Southampton and, of course, County Durham.

Each area has shown examples of why they should be the successful candidate in tonight’s decider, but here in the north east we will all be rooting for County Durham.

I’ve called County Durham my home for most of my life and, even times when I’ve been away from the North East, I’ve still considered it as home.

Walk along by the river or up to the cathedral in Durham City. You can even climb to the top of Durham Cathedral which recently reopened.

The title of City of Culture would have a long list of benefits to the region, which would almost certainly have knock-on benefits for Newcastle and the wider area.

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Yet before it has been announced who will be given the accolade, there is plenty in County Durham to make it deserving.

The beaches of the county are some of the nicest and cleanest in the UK, with dozens dotted up and down the vast coastline.

Seaham, Seaton Carew and Crimdon to name just a few, the county is blessed with locations for locals and visitors alike to visit and take in the often stiff North Sea breeze.

You can take in many of the region’s beaches via the Durham Coastal Path which runs 11 miles from Seaham down to Crimdon.

It is not just on our coastlines where we have beauty to brag about.

The summer sunrise over Seaham (Photo: Patrick Hollis)

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County Durham is home to some incredibly picturesque parks and woodlands.

Castle Eden Dene Nature Reserve branches out across most of East Durham, and is within walking distance of several of the ex-colliery villages located in this area of the county.

The list of walks and woodland in the county is endless, and each has their own independent charm.

Fans of historic buildings are also spoilt for choice in the county, with arguably the crown in Durham City Centre being Durham Cathedral.

The impressive structure keeps watch over the city, and welcomes those coming into the city via train as one of the first sights they see.

The rolling hills near to Easington Colliery

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Durham City is the beating heart of a county which is beginning to thrive once more. From Barnard Castle in the west to the rolling hills of Easington Colliery in the East, County Durham is a place which more than deserves to be awarded the accolade of City of Culture.

In Newcastle we have a city which is both a social and professional hub, and being around 10 miles from County Durham means that we can enjoy two of the best areas the North East has to offer.

Whatever happens tonight, County Durham will be seen as a region which has some of the most scenic beaches, the most historic buildings, and the nicest people in the country.

The effort of coming together to firstly put the bid in and then promote the region as a fantastic place for both locals and tourists is what makes the county, and the North East in general, one of the best areas of the UK.

When is the decision made?

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The decision on which will be named the 2025 City of Culture will be made on BBC’s The One Show from 7pm tonight.

Tony Harrington, chair of Culture Durham, said: “County Durham is no ordinary county and there is a strong feeling across the region that the time is right for the UK’s City of Culture to be in the North East. It truly is our time to shine.”