Into the Light: The past we inherit the future we build
Our City of Culture project grasps the proud historic motto of the Durham Miners’ Association and places it at the heart of a deep-rooted and dazzling programme that reframes a county of unequal opportunity as a place of collective energy.
Our county and our city share their name and are inextricably linked by the geology that made us, the graft that threaded mines beneath our feet, the industrious faith that built Britain’s finest cathedral, and our fierce spirit of independence. Durham 2025 will showcase the unity and diversity of this extraordinary place that over half a million people call home.
Big ideas – Big themes
Illuminate will shine bright lights on Durham, where the medieval founders of Durham Cathedral sought spiritual enlightenment, the invention of the railways brought global connectivity, and our industry represented the white heat of the technological revolution. Already home to world leading light festival Lumiere, light will be vital to Durham 2025.
Congregate renews our long traditions of gathering, belonging, identifying, and celebrating. Pilgrims have trodden paths to Durham for 1,000 years. The industrial age brought Big Meetings and experiments in democracy. Durham 2025 will draw people in from across Durham, radically reconnecting with each other and collectively welcoming the world.
Energise explores the geology, technology and enterprise that made us the cradle of the industrial revolution, and which continue to be developed through our world leading university and emerging industries. Just as the coal that powered the first industrial revolution also powered an explosion of art, creativity, and community, we are determined that the clean energy revolution will deliver astonishing creative outputs as we bring world-class artists together for Durham 2025.
A year-long celebration
At the heart of the bid is a year-long programme of arts, culture, sport, science and economics, including spectacular opening and closing events, a 12-month celebration of Durham’s 1,300-year history of space science, an international celebration of the bicentenary of the railways and a travelling fair that asks big questions about the local economy.
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