SHERBORNE has joined the race to be named Dorset's Capital of Culture in 2025.

The north Dorset town will compete against a joint bid from Weymouth and Portland to be named Capital of Culture.

It is part of a new County of Culture scheme which will see a town, village or hamlet named the cultural capital of Dorset and lead to a year of cultural activity, backed by funding.

Whichever town is named will be the first Dorset town to hold the title for a full year, as Bridport has been chosen as the first Capital of Culture, as a pilot for the second half of 2024.

READ MORE: Bridport named first Dorset capital of culture for 2024

Sherborne Town Council is putting together a bid which will be considered by the Arts Development Company to become Capital of Culture 2025.

Following an initial Expression of Interest, an information-sharing session has been arranged between 5.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursday, May 30, at the Digby Hall, Hound Street.

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

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

"Becoming Capital 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."

Sherborne Town Mayor, 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."