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Bradford announced as 2025 City of Culture

Last night, after years of campaigning, Bradford was announced as the 2025 City of Culture.

Bradford 2025 city of culture

The award helps celebrate the diverse range of culture in the UK. Previous winners have been Derry, Kingston upon Hull and Coventry. Since being awarded City of Culture, these cities have seen a boost in tourism and the local economy as well as opportunities for employment and attracting inward investment.

This year the competition was fierce. A record number of 20 cities and regions entered bids. In October 2021, this was shortlisted to eight, and in March it was narrowed down to four finalists – County Durham, Southampton, Wrexham and Bradford.

Judges explored each city in turn. In Bradford, they visited some of the city’s cultural centres including:

  • · National Science and Media Museum
  • · Bradford Central Mosque
  • · Hindu Cultural Centre
  • · Salts Mill
  • · Kala Sangam

Many companies and local figures were involved in the bid including one of our founders, Mark Cowgill, who is also the Vice President of Bradford’s Chamber of Commerce. Mark has been invested in this bid throughout and attended the announcement in Bradford’s Centenary Square last night. The square was full of signs, banners and eager faces all glued to the screen, waiting for the moment it was announced.

When the result came through, the square erupted in cheers and jumps for joy. Even now, years before 2025, this means so much to the city of Bradford.

“Last night before the announcement, I found myself far more nervous than I have been for decades, in fact since Bradford City played Wolves for promotion to the Premier League. It was at that point, despite being involved and fully supporting the bid for three years, that I realised how much this truly meant to me personally as a Bradfordian.

“But, and this is important, this is not about me, my business or my generation. This is about the difference it will make not just in 2025 but for many generations to follow. I get that this is hard for many people to fully understand or maybe even believe; but when you look at the faces of our younger generation at the announcement last night you can see what it means to them and what a difference they know this will make.

“I know it is a slogan but this really is Bradford's time and we will make the most of this opportunity to leave a lasting, game changing legacy for the people of Bradford.”

Bradford’s status as City of Culture will not only bring lots of creativity and events, it will transform the city and provide much needed opportunities for young people to enhance their skills as well as meaningful employment. It will also show hundreds of people the cultural gems, not just for Bradford – but for the whole region.

Congratulations, and well done to all involved in the bid. We can’t wait to see what 2025 will bring!

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