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Bradford submits formal bid to be UK City of Culture


Bradford has submitted a formal bid to be crowned the next UK City of Culture.

Bradford joins seven other longlisted places from around the UK in submitting a final bid to the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), marking a major milestone in the hotly-contested campaign to be crowned UK City of Culture 2025.

The full bid contains detailed information about what Bradford’s potential year as City of Culture would look like, with thousands of spectacular events, increased access to culture, and innovative new uses for the district’s historic settings all in the pipeline.

Hundreds of people and groups from across the district have contributed to Bradford’s bid in some way, and young people in particular have been instrumental in outlining their ambitions for the landmark year.

Shanaz Gulzar, chair of Bradford 2025, said: “This is a defining moment for the district. All the hard work over the last two years has generated an energy right across the district, giving rise to new collaborations, connections and creative conversations which have helped us create what we feel is a winning bid.

"It’s also timely as Bradford was recently named by an independent report as the city with the most to gain from the levelling up agenda. It seems everyone is realising what we’ve long known; Bradford is a city with huge ambitions, and so much potential."

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor, said: "Bradford has shown what it is capable of when we work together and the bonds we have made must now be strengthened around a new goal. The aim is the same - to capitalise on Bradford’s unique make-up and cultural diversity and support everyone who lives here to achieve their full potential. The energy that went into bidding generated a huge amount of excitement for our city’s future and the next chapter starts now." 

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “Culture is hugely important, we believe it can make a sustainable contribution to the prosperity and happiness of everyone in the district and it is vital as we recover from the Covid pandemic and strive to level up with the rest of the UK.

"Thousands of people from across the whole of our district and from its many diverse backgrounds have been involved in the creation of this bid. Our district is truly a unique place with so much potential and its people really deserve to win this accolade and show the world that this is our time and our place.”

An independent panel of judges will now review the bid submissions and up to four places will be shortlisted in March. Judges will visit the shortlisted cities in April and May before announcing the winner at the end of May.