Stirling landmark lit up with poem as part of City of Culture bid

Poem created by the city's makar beamed onto the Wallace Monument as part of official submission.

Stirling landmark lit up with poem as part of City of Culture bid Julie Howden

Stirling has projected lines from a collective poem by local residents as it goes all out in its bid to become the next city of culture.

The poem, created by the city’s makar, Laura Fyfe, was beamed onto the Wallace Monument in an immersive light show featuring moving imagery overlaid with verse.

In December, local people were invited to send in 25 words for 2025, which were woven into a poem reflecting the “passions, hopes, dreams and desires of the people of Stirling”.

The digital showcase marked the official submission of Stirling’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

Entries from the eight long-listed cities are due to be submitted to the UK Government Department for Culture, Media and Sport on Wednesday, and Stirling is the only Scottish city still in the running.

Kevin Harrison, manager of Scene Stirling, which represents the city’s arts and cultural partners, said: “Back in December we invited people to send in their 25 words for 2025 and the citizens of Stirling were quick to embrace this creative challenge. We received over one hundred entries from communities across the area, from Fallin to Thornhill.

“What has shone through is the huge pride and deep affection people feel for their home city, communities and the local landscape.

“Emotions are running high. We know what a massive difference winning would make to our communities, our creative sector and our economy. We want the world to see how special Stirling is and just how much this means to us.

“We’re ready to deliver real social change for all of Stirling with a cultural programme that makes the arts open to all and creates a meaningful legacy for the city, the rest of Scotland and beyond.

“We want Stirling to become internationally renowned for its arts inclusivity.”

The poem will also feature on the cover of Stirling’s bid submission.

Fyfe said: “It has been an honour to craft the entries into one collective poem that reflects the passions, hopes, dreams and desires of the people of Stirling.

“The project was an opportunity to create something special together and to focus on what we love about this amazing place where we live.

“Stirling’s rich heritage and stunning landscape feature strongly in the poem, but there is also a real sense of hopefulness and excitement about the next chapter in Stirling’s history.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is expected to announce the cities shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2025 in March and the winner will be declared in May.

Stirling Council leader Scott Farmer, said: “Stirling’s bid stems from the passion for culture that flows through our communities, so it’s only fitting that we celebrate the creative spirit of our people in a memorable way as we reach this key stage in the competition.

“There was a fantastic response to this imaginative and collaborative project with people of all ages across Stirling channelling their inner creativity and putting into words what culture means to them.

“The final result is an inspiring and uplifting poem that illustrates the diversity and dynamism of Stirling’s current cultural scene and a desire and belief that we can do so much more.”

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