Skip to main content

Image of the Castle gatehouse on a sunny day

We’re celebrating the proud cultural heritage of County Durham by supporting an exciting programme of cultural projects and activities over the next few years. County Durham was recently shortlisted for the UK Government’s UK City of Culture title for 2025. In the end we narrowly missed out but working on the bid has helped forge even stronger relationships with culture partners, providing a catalyst for exciting future collaborations.

A model of creative thinking 

We’re building a Creative Curriculum partnership with Durham County Council, which is born out of our partnership with Arts Council England and its focus on teaching and encouraging young people to be creative.  

Together we’re working to develop a creative curriculum based on research and evidence from our experts, to be delivered across the County from 2025.  

The partnership seeks to establish Durham as a model of creative thinking and creativity, in particular the creativity of children and young people.  

Reaching for the stars 

In July 2025 we will also be hosting the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting.  

This inspiring event will not only bring up to 1000 members of the UK’s astronomical community to Durham to discuss the latest scientific discoveries, but will also reach out to teachers, students, and industry across the region to spark new collaborations and inspire the next generation of space scientists. 

The week-long event will include workshops for local schools where students can take part in practical activities and meet professional astronomers. Teachers will also be able to find out how they can creatively use astronomy in their teaching.  

Public talks will give the local community the chance to hear about the latest discoveries in space science, whilst events with industry partners will showcase how our astronomers work with a range of local and national businesses to bring scientific solutions to a range of challenges.   

Cultural vibrancy  

We also look forward to supporting and engaging with many of the activities and events within the City of Culture bid that will still go ahead, despite the result, bringing with them a wealth of benefits to County Durham. 

October 2022 will see the return of the Durham Book Festival, celebrating creative writing and literature in the inspiring surroundings of Durham city.  As one of England’s oldest literary festivals we delight in supporting this highlight in the region’s cultural calendar which has previously welcomed a host of prize-winning writers. 

Find out more: 

  • Read about the ways Durham University celebrates, embraces and contributes to creativity culture and heritage. 
  •  Discover more about our partnership with Arts Council England – the Durham Commission. 
  •  Visit the Durham 2025 web pages to find out more about ongoing plans for cultural celebrations and developments across the County.  
  •  Discover more about Durham Book Festival 2022