Show your support for Bradford City of Culture 2025
Time to show your support for #Bradford2025
Ahead of the winner of UK City of Culture being announced soon, The One Show will be screening a special feature on Bradford - #Bradford2025 - on their programme tonight, Friday 20th May at 7pm on BBC1.
To coincide with this, we're inviting everyone to celebrate Bradford on Friday on social media - here’s how to get involved.
Share your messages of support for why you think Bradford should be the next UK City of Culture.
Post images and videos about your favourite places to visit and enjoy in the district.
We all have our favourite places and things that mean so much to us and together they add up to an amazing city and region like no other. What’s your particular favourite? It might be an iconic building, restaurant, café or shop, a park, a walk or team, where you work or study, it might be a person or something from history, it might simply be a favourite spot known only by you.
Tell everyone what you think is unique about Bradford
Don't forget to use the #CityofCulture2025 and #Bradford2025 hashtags on your posts.
And if you need some inspiration, here are 25 reasons why we should be the UK City of Culture 2025...
1. BRADFORD LIVE
By 2025, Bradford will be home to one of the most prestigious live music and entertainment venues in the north. Bradford Live will be able to host up to 4,000 people for events, and will complement the nearby Alhambra Theatre and recently refurbished St George’s Hall to provide a world-class cultural quarter. Lee Craven, Director of Bradford Live says: “Getting onto the final shortlist is a vindication of the quality of the Bradford 2025 bid, and a tribute to the determination already shown to regenerate our great city by using culture.”
2. OUR TOWNS ARE ALIVE
Keighley, Bingley, Ilkley, Haworth and many more of our stunning district towns and villages are gearing up for City of Culture. Our bid promises to put culture at the heart of every neighbourhood in Bradford. Already this year we’re seeing our town squares and local high streets spring back to life with things like Sup beer festival in Shipley and the upcoming K-Town Shopper in Keighley. This is just a flavour of what BD25 can do for the whole District.
3 …AND SO ARE OUR MILLS!
The recent Mills Are Alive in Manningham saw the iconic Lister Mills chimney transformed into a stunning light show. We can do much more of this as a City of Culture.
4. WE’RE A CITY OF LEARNING
The University of Bradford has been integral to securing Bradford’s place on the UK City of Culture shortlist. Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice- Chancellor of the University says, “As a socially inclusive University with strong connections to our place, we have a long history of driving social mobility and contributing to Bradford’s economic, social, and cultural life. We are proud to be a strategic partner in the Bradford 2025 City of Culture bid, which is rooted in all that is positive about Bradford – a young vibrant and diverse place, with a unique rich culture, heritage and personality. I am confident we have the commitment, support and energy to be UK City of Culture 2025. This is our time!”
5. IT’S BRILLIANT FOR BUSINESS
Over 40 Bradford-based businesses, including Morrisons supermarket, have been flying the flag for our City of Culture bid from day one, and more are coming on board. Sharon Jandu, founder of the Yorkshire Asian Business Association (YABA), says, “Bradford is one step closer to winning UK City of Culture 2025, and we couldn’t be prouder. Bradford is a city that exemplifies resilience and diversity in everything it does, and shows that together we can create a brighter future. We need more local businesses to back this campaign as we get closer to the finish line as this city is only as good as it is due to the amazing people and business
that call it home.”
6. IT’LL TRANSFORM OUR CITY CENTRE
In time for 2025, we’ll have a rejuvenated city centre that will have fantastic new public spaces, and a brand new central market with new performance stages. Ian Ward, Chair of Bradford Business Improvement District says, “We’re seriously thrilled and air-punchingly excited that Bradford has made the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2025. For Bradford to thrive, we need to bring in visitors and investment. City of Culture will fill our fabulous venues and magnificent public open spaces with activity and life, generating real community pride and the chance to show the world what our great city is all about. We’re behind the bid all the way!”
7. THE BULLS AND CITY ARE BACKING THE BID
Bradford City and Bradford Bulls have thrown their weight behind the bid. Joe Pitts, Commercial Director at Bradford Bulls says, “Bradford Bulls are proud to be associated with Bradford’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid, to be through to the final shortlist is a fantastic achievement and I salute the bid team. Every time one of our Bradford Bulls teams steps out onto the field we know we are representing Bradford, just as the City of Culture bid team are doing. I look forward to them pushing on now and winning the title, good luck!”
8. IT’S A BID FOR EVERYONE
Bradford has been shortlisted thanks to the thousands of conversations that have taken place with people and groups right across the district. We are committed to being the most inclusive City of Culture there has ever been. Zahabia Naveed, part of the Engagement & Inclusion Reference Group for Bradford 2025 says, “Our bid looks and sounds like the Bradford we know and love because it has involved so many people. Just imagine what we can do when we win!”
9. WE’RE HUNGRY FOR IT
Saleem Akhtar, managing director of the Jinnah group of restaurants, says, “We’ve been a proud supporter of the bid, emblazing the Bradford 2025 logo everywhere from the roof of our events marquee to our takeaway bags. Food is such a huge part of the culture here in Bradford and if we win, will be as much a part of the experience of the cultural offer in Bradford as the events and activities. The hospitality sector has had a tough time over the last few years, and the impact of something like the City of Culture title would be an enormous boost for the sector which would put Bradford on the map as a destination for years to come.”
10. OUR BRILLIANT HERITAGE
From Little Germany to Ilkley Moor, our stunning places and outdoor spaces – steeped in rich history – will take centre stage during our year as City of Culture.
11. WE’RE YORKSHIRE’S BID
As the only shortlisted city in Yorkshire, we’re proud to be flying the flag for England’s greatest county! Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire says, “Being shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2025 is a tremendous accolade. Everybody who lives and works in Bradford and across West Yorkshire should be rightly proud of this achievement. It recognises not only our rich artistic, cultural and creative heritage of Bradford, but who we are as a city, what modern British culture looks like and our ambitions for the future.”
12. OUR BRILLIANT YOUNG PEOPLE
100 young people from all across the district recently visited the current title-holder, Coventry, to enjoy a weekend of culture. They returned home inspired, excited, and bursting with ideas for what Bradford’s year could look like.
13. WE’VE GOT OUR OWN BEER
Yorkshire brewery Northern Monk have joined forces with BD25 to brew our very own delicious, alcohol-free beer. Cheers to being shortlisted!
14. THE BIG SCREEN LOVES US
As the world’s first UNESCO City of Film, Bradford is increasingly playing a starring role in a number of new productions. This year, Bafta-nominated Ali and Ava was set in the city, and blockbuster The Duke was filmed in Bradford too. During our City of Culture bid, 25 budding new filmmakers across the District were funded to make their films, and a successful designation promises even more magnificent movie action.
15. FAMOUS FACES BACK THE BID
From Bad Boy Chiller Crew to Dynamo, a whole host of famous faces from right across Bradford are backing the bid.
16. OUR FABULOUS FESTIVALS
Whether it’s Bradford Literature Festival or Bingley Weekender, our festivals are going from strength to- strength and will only be boosted by being crowned UK City of Culture 2025. Our new light festival – Bradford Is Lit – attracted over 20,000 people into City Park in late 2021.
17. CULTURE IS OUR PLAN
‘Culture is our Plan,’ Bradford’s ten-year cultural strategy, launched in May 2021, eighteen months before Northern leaders published the ‘Case for Culture’ report which demonstrated how culture will be the catalyst for levelling up in the north. Bradford is well placed to deliver cultural regeneration.
18. MAGNIFICENT MUSEUMS
We are home to the National Science and Media Museum – due to benefit from a £6 million expansion before 2025 – as well as renowned museums across the District.
19. AMAZING ART
Bradford boasts the largest collection of David Hockney works in the world. Our civic museums and galleries, from Cliffe Castle to Cartwright Hall, are backing the bid, and will be at the heart of our year as UK City of Culture.
20. BORN IN BRADFORD
The team behind the largest academic study of its kind in the UK are backing Bradford’s bid. The first members of the Born In Bradford cohort turn 18 in 2025, providing us with a natural opportunity to prove the positive link between culture and the wellbeing of children and young people as they get involved in the year.
21. WE’RE A CITY OF THE WORLD
Bradford has a proud history of welcoming people from all over the world. We are a city of sanctuary, and a place where our many diverse communities are celebrated and cherished. Being a UK City of Culture is a chance to tell our stories, our way.
22. MORE JOBS, BETTER SKILLS
Being UK City of Culture will lead to an explosion of opportunities in the culture and creative industries – from fashion apprenticeships to filmmaking schools. Channel 4 have recently established training hubs that will be based in Little Germany and Keighley, and have cited Bradford as a big reason for moving to the region. Bradford 2025 will bring jobs to the district, and our local colleges will take an active role in training the next generation of creative practitioners.
23. WE ARE PIONEERS
The city that gave the world free school dinners, social reform, workers’ rights, and advancements in science, technology and engineering continues to be a place for pioneers and entrepreneurs. If crowned UK City of Culture, our events programme promises to be rooted in that pioneering heritage. It will be a year like no other.
24. CITY PARK
There is nowhere quite like City Park in the UK. It’s been a backdrop for Bollywood, football celebrations, light shows, festivals, and every year becomes “Bradford on Sea” for tens of thousands of Bradfordians. With the world watching us in 2025, it will become a focal point for our year-long celebration.
There are 24 BD postcodes. There is no BD25… yet. BD25 promises to be the best of Bradford. A chance for us to share what makes our place so special, but also an opportunity to build something new.
BD25 is Our Time. Our Place.