UK City of Culture 2025 Expert Panel Members

Body: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Culture, Media & Sport
Location: UK
Number of Vacancies: 8
Remuneration: No
Time Requirements: 15-18 days
Closing Date: 21/06/2021

Vacancy Description

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is recruiting the expert advisory panel for the UK City of Culture 2025 competition. The panel will assess UK City of Culture 2025 bids against the published core criteria in the bidding guidance and offer objective and considered advice to the Secretary of State for DCMS at each stage of the competition.

DCMS is committed to ensuring all appointments are diverse and benefit from a broad range of skills and perspectives.

About the role

DCMS has launched the search for the UK City of Culture 2025. The expert advisory panel will assess the bids for the title and make recommendations to the Secretary of State for DCMS at each stage of the competition. 

We are seeking individuals with experience ranging across but not limited to: arts and culture (including artists and practitioners), community engagement, youth, evidence and analysis, creative industries, commercial and business, finance, heritage, museums, health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, place-making and regeneration, marketing and communication; environmental sustainability, digital, international and tourism. 

In total, there will be 11 panel members, including the Chair, Deputy Chair and four nation representatives for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Sir Phil Redmond will continue in his role as Chair of the panel, Claire McColgan has been appointed as Deputy Chair and Lynne Best has been appointed as the representative for Northern Ireland.

DCMS are now recruiting for the remaining eight members, including a representative for Scotland, Wales and England and five other ‘non-affiliated’ members. DCMS are working closely with the devolved administrations on the competition process. The selection committee will be made up of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the panel, and officials from DCMS or the relevant devolved administration. The nation representatives will be appointed directly by the respective responsible minister. The other panel members will be approved by the DCMS Secretary of State on the recommendation of the selection committee.

About UK City of Culture

UK City of Culture is a UK-wide programme, developed in collaboration with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The competition is run by DCMS, inviting places across the UK to set out their vision for culture-led regeneration. 

UK City of Culture is a transformational moment in a place’s growth and this year’s competition is an opportunity for places and communities to put culture and creativity at the heart of their recovery and growth plans. The success of previous winners Derry/Londonderry, Hull and now the exciting and ambitious year unfolding in Coventry, demonstrates how the programme can drive positive economic and social outcomes, develop lasting local, national and international partnerships, and bring people together. It can also strengthen communities, build a sense of place and inspire local pride, celebrating and boosting local and grassroots arts and culture, and attract new investment and tourism.

More information about the 2025 competition can be found in the bidding guidance here.

Person Specification

Person specification (essential criteria)

  • Understanding and experience of investing in culture to achieve multiple outcomes with a range of partners; 
  • Understanding of and commitment to the objectives of the UK City of Culture competition;
  • Strategic decision-making ability;
  • Excellent communication and representational skills;
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a team, with experience of collective decision making at a senior level.


  • Assessing UK City of Culture 2025 bids against the published criteria;
    • Visiting the shortlisted cities;
    • Agreeing and submitting advice to the Secretary of State for DCMS on the longlist, shortlist and winner;
  • Acting as an ambassador for the programme including being available for interview by the media if required; 
  • Acting as a critical friend to the winning city and working with a supporters group of key national organisations to maximise the winner’s success;
  • Actively promoting UK City of Culture as a model of culture-led regeneration;
  • Contributing to advice and feedback to unsuccessful bidders.

Additional Information

Time commitment

Panel members are expected to commit to approximately 15-18 days comprising: 

  • 4-5 panel meetings: a single meeting usually lasting a day 
  • 1-2 days to read and prepare for meetings. Papers can include applications, consultant assessments and guidance criteria
  • Minimum of 1 day ad hoc training opportunities and bidders workshop attendance 
  • A visit to each of the shortlisted cities. This could include up to 3 shortlisted cities across the UK
  • 1-2 days ad hoc media opportunities launch/announcement event etc. 
  • 1-2 meetings with the winner halfway through and towards the end of their preparation to act as critical friends.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • a CV of not more than two sides of A4.
  • a supporting statement of not more than three sides of A4, providing examples and setting out how you meet the criteria and why you want to be a member of the UK City of Culture 2025 expert advisory panel.
  • clearly indicate if you would like to be considered as the nation representative for Scotland, Wales or England. These applications will be sifted and interviews conducted by officials from the respective nation. Individuals applying to be a nation representative will also be considered for the other panel roles. 
  • The Diversity Monitoring Form concerning your personal information and political activity, and the Declaration of Interests Form.

Completed applications should be emailed to: no later than 23:59 on 21 June.

Please put Expert advisory panel in the Subject line.

If you have any questions about the appointments process or the role itself, please contact

Diversity and inclusion

DCMS values and cares passionately about the diversity of its appointments, to reflect our diverse society and ensure we draw fully on the different skills and perspectives our country has to offer.

Applications are encouraged from candidates from across the UK, regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, and from the broadest range of personal and professional backgrounds.

We ask all applicants to complete a diversity monitoring form. We hope you will help us by providing this information. Your data is not disclosed to the panel, but allows us to constantly evaluate any potential barriers to becoming an appointee and whether there are any changes we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply.

Disability Confident

We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application, which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria.

If you wish to apply under this scheme, state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application. This will in no way prejudice your application.

Reasonable adjustments

If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments ahead of making your application or during the process, please contact us. 

About DCMS

Our department operates at the heart of government on some of the UK’s biggest economic and social issues. Our mission is to drive growth, enrich lives and promote the UK to the world. We champion innovation and creativity. From the Arts to Artificial Intelligence, a quarter of UK businesses are in our sectors, and are among the fastest growing of our economy. Emerging technology is opening up new possibilities for human endeavour and self-expression. But we need to harness it, create new norms for the online world and build a strong civil society so that the benefits are shared by all. Our actions over more than 25 years of DCMS have become woven into the fabric of our nation. Today we continue to shape the world we want to live in – building a future fit for everyone.

DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 agencies and public bodies.

Conflicts of Interest and Due Diligence

If you have any interests that might be relevant to the UK City of Culture 2025 competition process or any bidding places, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your application. If you have queries about this and would like to discuss further please contact DCMS.

If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the selection committee and provide details of the issue(s) in your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the selection committee and they may wish to explore issues with you should you be invited to interview. The information may also be shared with ministers.


Expenses incurred by external candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed, except in exceptional circumstances, and only when agreed in advance.

City of Culture panel privacy notice

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Return to Search