BRIDPORT will become the first town to be the ‘capital of culture’ in Dorset.

It is part of a new scheme which will see a town, village or hamlet be named the cultural capital of Dorset each year.

Winning areas will receive £30,000 from Dorset Council to fund cultural activities and events for the year.

Bridport, which has a thriving arts and cultural scene, will pilot the scheme for the second half of 2024 and will create a cultural programme for residents and visitors between July and December.

Organisers for the pilot event will also produce a how-to guide for future towns which are chosen as the capital of culture.

The first full year of the scheme will begin in 2025, with a two-stage application process for any towns, villages or hamlets in Dorset to enter.

County of culture is an initiative which was created by the Arts Development Company.

Bridport 2024 will be funded by Dorset Council with matched funding from Bridport Town Council.

Rosie Russell, Bridport Town of Culture producer, said: “It is a lovely thing for the town and in particular the young people in the town.

“It’s an opportunity to champion and celebrate Bridport’s creative festivals, events and venues and to support the development of young people as future curators and producers.

“It’s about collaboration and joining up existing festivals as well as the opportunity for some new events. “Bridport is known as an eventful town and it is a chance to champion our arts, artists, our heritage and our place.

“The ambition is that Bridport 2024 Town of Culture has a positive impact on everyone in the town and beyond.

“We want to ensure there are things happening in lots of spaces and places not simply the centre of town.”

Nikki Northover is the creative producer and choreographer of Bridport Youth Dance (BYD).

She said: “It is a fantastic town, Bridport has always had a vibrant arts scene.

“I think it will be a great opportunity for all of the youth organisations to show the amazing talent we have in what is a very small town.

“I think art is so important for wellbeing and mental health especially so I think it is wonderful for the town.”

The town hosted its first advisory group meeting last week, which was open to all residents who wished to contribute ideas of how to promote the town through arts projects and events.

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 3 at 6pm in the WI Hall in North Street, Bridport.

For more information on the capital of culture initiative, email