Following in the footsteps of fellow Yorkshire city Hull, Bradford has officially been named the City of Culture: 2025, beating a record 20 bids plus the final four.
The West Yorkshire city beat out fellow finalists County Durham, Southampton, and Wrexham County Borough to the podium for the honour, landing a hefty financial investment to help improve the city.
Bradford’s unique offering includes it’s diversity and youth. It was named as the world’s first UNESCO for film. It aims to empower the Yorkshire voice.
Hull benefitted from the honour back in 2017, helping the city gain a whopping £89.3m of investment in the city, alongside a 9.7% increase in tourism to the previously forgotten city.
The winning city was named on the BBC One Show tonight. Bradford will become Coventry’s successor – after the city won the title back in 2021. Since winning ‘City of Culture’, Coventry has seen a huge investment in its arts offering, alongside a £500m cash injection for the city’s regeneration.
Sir Phil Redmond, chair of the city of culture expert advisory panel, said: “Culture can act as a catalyst for community engagement, civic cohesion and a driver for economic and social change as previously seen not just in Derry-Londonderry (2013), Hull (2017) and Coventry (2021), but all those other places who went on a journey to develop their own cultural strategy.
“Simply taking part has proved a catalyst in itself. We have had a great longlist to select from, which made the shortlisting difficult, but I am now looking forward to visiting each of the shortlisted places with the panel to witness culture’s catalytic effect in action.”
TV presenter Shanaz Gulzar said of Bradford’s bid: “We’d like to thank the thousands of people, community organisations, businesses and the creative community across the whole of the Bradford district who have thrown their support behind the campaign and helped us shape what we believe is a winning bid,”
“We’re keeping the details of our entry tightly under wraps for now, as the competition heats up, but I can say that our bid is rooted in the heritage and character of the Bradford district, and will reveal the magic of its people, its ambition, its uniqueness and above all its potential.”
Cornwall, Derby, Stirling and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon were also among the 20 who bid for the honour, however, did not make the cut for the final four.
Ahead of May’s reveal, the advisory panel will visit all four shortlisted areas to help form their decision, meaning Bradford dwellers have some serious charming to do over the next two months.
Credit: Bradford Council