Sherborne aiming to be crowned County of Culture recipient 2025

SHERBORNE is calling on a history of cultural endeavours in a bid to secure a prestigious honour.

The town is bidding to become Dorset’s County of Culture recipient for 2025.

Arts Development Company bestows the title each year, with the recipient town, village or hamlet, becoming a creative hub for the county.

Sherborne Town Council (STC) is putting together a bid for 2025, with an information sharing session set to take place between 5.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursday, May 30, at the Digby Hall, in Hound Street.

Organisers said the gathering will help structure the final submission, where statutory bodies to include health and education, community organisations and residents will be encouraged to share ideas, suggestions and aspirations.

While the town council will look to allocate funding towards the initiative, other funding sources will need to be found to support the bid.

However, if successful, Sherborne could benefit from up to £30,000 of funding.

Steve Shield, town clerk at STC, said: “I am delighted that Sherborne has reached the final stage of this amazing opportunity for the town and we have until the June 26 to shape a strong application to be considered.

“Becoming County of Culture 2025 would provide a fantastic opportunity for our fabulous community to deliver a host of cultural activities and projects in some wonderful settings across our historic market town.”

Mayor of Sherborne, Cllr Robin Legg, added: “Sherborne has a long history of cultural and artistic endeavours.

“The Victorian dramatist William Macready founded a Literary Institute at which his friend Charles Dickens gave readings for people of the town.

“Later, The Sherborne Pageant of 1905 at Sherborne Old Castle drew huge crowds and special trains were laid on to what was recognised as the first people’s pageant in England.

“Today, Sherborne has a wide variety of societies and organisations offering music and literary festivals, lectures by eminent historians, as well as a thriving arts and drama scene.

“Now with the opening of The Sherborne as an arts venue the town is well placed to lead the County of Culture bid in 2025.”

For more information on the County of Culture scheme, log on to

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.