Hundreds of businesses from across the North East have backed County Durham’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025, including local bus operator Go North East, which has wrapped one of its buses to support the bid. Almost £500,000 in sponsorship has also been pledged towards the Durham 2025 campaign, while other businesses have volunteered their skills and time to help develop and raise awareness of the bid.
Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director of Go North East, said: “We’re delighted to be showing our support for the Durham 2025 bid with our very own branded bus. The bus will help raise awareness of the bid across the region, shining a light on everything that County Durham has to offer.
“For over 100 years, Go North East has connected the region’s towns and villages with County Durham and the city of Durham, and many other key locations beyond, helping to keep the people of the North East connected and on the move. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the rich culture and tourist appeal of our region.”
County Durham’s shortlisted bid to be UK City of Culture 2025 is being driven by Durham County Council, Durham University and Culture Durham, a partnership of more than 20 cultural organisations from across the county. Sally Dixon, Assistant Director of Partnerships and Communications at Beamish Museum, has been leading on business engagement for the bid. She said: “Our message has been all about collaboration from day one; businesses working together with cultural partners to deliver social and economic benefits for County Durham and the wider North East. It’s been really well received as businesses can see just how powerful this opportunity could be for the region.
“We’ve had a tremendous response so far, with almost 600 businesses signing up to back the bid and almost £500,000 pledged in sponsorship. But it’s not only about cash support – there are exciting opportunities to explore bespoke and in-kind partnerships. The liveried Go North East bus is a fantastic and creative example of how a business can give in-kind support to Durham 2025.”
County Durham is one of four places from across the UK to make the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2025. The winner is expected to be announced in late May.