- Writing in the Worksop Guardian, Alexander Stafford MP says: "I am delighted to announce that I have launched my exciting new campaign to make the South Yorkshire coalfields the 2025 UK City of Culture."
Our region could benefit greatly if this campaign proves to be a success
I am delighted to announce that I have launched my exciting new campaign to make the South Yorkshire coalfields the 2025 UK City of Culture, and I have reached out to fellow South Yorkshire MPs, council leaders, and the mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, urging them to back my bid.
As many of you will be aware, every four years an area of the United Kingdom is chosen to serve as the national ‘City of Culture’, shining a light on the region’s unique cultural heritage and driving tourism and investment locally. This City of Culture initiative, administered by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has seen three British cities reap the dividends of designation since 2013. Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland, Kingston upon Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and Coventry in the West Midlands have all experienced significant boosts to their tourism industry, profile, and funding opportunities in the years since they held the title, and I firmly hope that local authorities and fellow South Yorkshire MPs will join me in pressing for the same benefits for the South Yorkshire coalfields.
I believe the South Yorkshire coalfields region is the perfect candidate for UK City of Culture. It is high time that we celebrate our rich coal mining heritage and promote it to an audience across our great country. Our coal industry has played a significant role in our nation’s history since the industrial revolution, including during the Second World War, when nearly 48,000 Bevin Boys worked in the mines in areas like ours. It is a great source of pride that the mining towns and pit villages of South Yorkshire were crucial in supplying our war effort and that of our allies in order to defeat the Nazis. It was the determination and grit of our people that ensured Britain could carry on the struggle and ultimately free Europe and the world from fascism. We must recognise this incredible section of our history as part of our UK City of Culture bid for the South Yorkshire coalfields, and, as we march towards the fourth industrial revolution, it is of paramount importance that we look at the future of coal mining areas in order to support their reinvention and redevelopment.
Even just placing a bid can raise the profile of an area significantly, but if successful, we could really put the South Yorkshire coalfields on the map, transforming our area with inward investment, tourism opportunities, and new infrastructure. If you support my new campaign for the South Yorkshire coalfields to be crowned the UK City of Culture, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.