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CityofCulture2025 win will mean decade of growth for Bradford


BD25 winners pic

Bradford’s historic CityofCulture2025 win will create a lead up and legacy that could last up to 10 years, according to University of Bradford’s Professor Marcus Rattray.

Professor Rattray was part of the bid team as ‘research convenor’ - he says the bid will benefit residents, artists and small businesses across the Bradford district, and that the University had an integral role to play in ensuring it was a success.

Professor Rattray said: “It’s an amazing result, all the stars aligned for us. As we move from the bidding process to delivery, the University of Bradford remains central, with the impact of our year as City of Culture being revealed over the next 10 years at least.  As a civic university, we are committed to people’s prosperity and health and to ensure that the Bradford district will get the best benefit from our year of culture."

“It means showing that Bradford is a brilliant place to live, work and study. Part of our remit will be to evaluate the long-term impact of the bid, because we know from the precedent set by Liverpool that some of those benefits take a while to come through, so we need to be there for the long haul.”

He added: “We will be convening a Research and Evaluation partnership to ensure everything is done with rigour and integrity. We will be working with partners that include Born in Bradford and the Centre for Cultural Value.  As well as the more traditional ways of evaluating cultural impact, the University of Bradford has particular interest in promoting small business growth, understanding the health and social benefits of the year and ensuring that inclusivity and sustainability goals remain at the heart of everything we do.”

Jobs and investment

Prof Rattray says the Bradford bid is also about providing opportunity and improving people’s life chances - something the University has already been honoured for, by twice being ranked #1 in England as the university most likely to improve people’s social mobility.

University academics have already helped inform Bradford’s 2025 bid, with rigorous research into economic forecasts, cultural impact and the positive social, health and wellbeing effects that will come about as a result of becoming UK City of Culture. Prof Rattray says this means creating more opportunities for people and boosting social mobility - something that aligns perfectly with the University’s own vision and long-term strategy.

It is predicted the City of Culture bid could lead to £700m worth of investment, and create up to 3,000 jobs.

Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Shirley Congdon said: “We are honoured to have won the City of Culture 2025. As a university, we are proud to be a strategic partner of the Bradford bid. This will be a game changer for Bradford and it will enrich the lives of everyone in the city and district by exposing more people to cultural events, which act as a catalyst for change and investment. This will create opportunities for our students and staff to get involved, it will raise the profile of the city and the university.”