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Being Human festival announces BBC 100 Hub at the University of Bradford 


Broadcast sudents gather in the grounds of University of Bradford

Being Human, the UK’s national festival of the humanities, has announced a £15,000 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to create a festival Hub in Bradford with a special focus to celebrate the BBC centenary.  

Being Human demonstrates and celebrates the ways in which humanities research is vital to society and directly relevant to the lives and interests of people across the UK. Every year, hundreds of free events take place across the UK, showcasing the latest research in subjects including history, literature, philosophy, classics and languages.  

This special grant for the 2022 festival will fund an innovative Hub that will focus on public engagement with the BBC centenary and will be led by the University of Bradford. 

Robert Seatter, head of BBC History, says: “We are delighted to be collaborating not only with the Being Human festival but also with the University of Bradford – extending the already very close relationship we have with the city via the National Science and Media Museum. The BBC’s centenary is everyone’s centenary, and the BBC 100 Hub will I am sure be a great dynamo for new and fascinating community conversation.” 

BBC 100

In line with this year’s Being Human festival theme ‘Breakthroughs’, 2022 marks the BBC’s 100th year in operation. BBC 100, the organisation’s broader centenary programme, will look at the broadcaster’s most iconic objects, people and contributors over the century. 

Dr Allan Sudlow, director of Partnerships and Engagement at AHRC, says: "We are pleased to be marking the BBC’s Centenary year with an exciting programme of engagement with research.  Reflecting on one hundred years of the BBC not only offers insights into the history of broadcasting, but also the cultural and social change of Britain over the past century. This activity will engage the public with research in new and dynamic ways - reflecting on the past but also shaping ideas for the future."

The University of Bradford’s programme of free festival events and activities will focus on engaging individuals and communities with research that celebrates the contemporary relevance of the BBC and looks at the past, present and future of broadcasting and journalism.  

City of Film

Bradford and the university have a strong track record in broadcasting. Bradford is a key location for film and TV production including the BBC’s Peaky Blinders and Jay’s Yorkshire Workshop, it was the world’s first UNESCO City of Film, and it is home to the renowned National Science and Media Museum. The city has also been named in the final four for UK City of Culture 2025.  

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, says: "We are delighted that the university and the city has been chosen for the BBC100 Hub. The BBC has made a difference to everyone’s life whether that is following big news like the Olympics, documentaries like Blue Planet or discovering your favourite band via John Peel."

Our research is also making a difference to people’s lives, from Virtual Bradford which was recently awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize to the new Bradford-Renduchintala Centre for Space AI

The BBC 100 Hub will provide an exciting opportunity for people to discover more about how broadcasting and research are linked, how it benefits them and how they could play a part in its future.”  

Being human

Being Human is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, with generous support from Research England, in partnership with the AHRC and the British Academy.  

Festival Hubs are Being Human’s largest concentrations of activity, supporting locally relevant programmes of events involving multiple researchers from different disciplines with multiple community partners. Festival Hubs provide rich and exciting programmes of imaginative events that involve the public with humanities research, while also building institutional capacity for public engagement in the humanities. 

Professor Sarah Churchwell, director of the Being Human festival, says: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with the AHRC, the BBC and the University of Bradford to mark this significant milestone in broadcasting history. We look forward to celebrating the BBC’s rich stories and history, and to exploring its contemporary relevance with communities across West Yorkshire.” 

Being Human festival will take place 10–19 November 2022, at locations across the UK. 

Find out more about the festival at and follow the latest news on Twitter at @BeingHumanFest.  

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