A record 20 places from across the UK have submitted an expression of interest to become the UK City of Culture 2025, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Regions and groups of towns have been encouraged to apply in this competition, with a number stepping forward from across the UK.

Entrants have been asked to explain how they would put culture at the heart of their plans to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

DCMS said Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 has helped the city attract more than £100 million so far in capital investment to support cultural projects, such as Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry Cathedral and Belgrade Theatre. Coventry has received over £15.5m from the Government to directly support its year as UK City of Culture.

It said bidding for the title in its own right has been shown to have a hugely positive impact on a place, for example previous longlisted bids have used the bidding process to bring together lasting local, national and international partners, share a vision for their area and attract investment.

To ensure as many places as possible across the country can take up this opportunity, DCMS is awarding grants of £40,000 to successful longlisted places, for the first time, to support their long applications.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said, “This record number of applications from all four corners of the country is testament to the huge success of City of Culture in generating investment, creating jobs and boosting local pride.”