Bradford has been crowned UK City of Culture 2025, taking on the prestigious title from Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
The winner was approved by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries based on independent advice from a panel of experts led by TV writer-producer Sir Phil Redmond. The experts visited each of the four shortlisted places, which also included County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough, to learn more about the bids before making their final recommendation.
Bradford will now receive £275,000 in initial seed funding to make sure the city can hit the ground running and get the wheels in motion early as it develops its plans for 2025.
Bradford’s bid – which consulted Bradford Civic Society – focussed on a young and vibrant city with a rich heritage and its impressive bid drew upon its wide-range of local cultural assets including the Bronte Parsonage, Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site and the National Science and Media Museum.
Bradford is using another £4 million DCMS grant to redevelop the Bradford Odeon into a 4,000 seat live music and entertainment venue: ‘Bradford Live’.
The judges were impressed by the ambition of Bradford’s bid which, at its centre, celebrates the place where people live, the power of diversity and aims to create new opportunities for everyone. The bid encouraged strong local engagement with artists and residents, focused on creating a sense of local pride.
Winning the title can have a hugely positive impact on a place – attracting millions of pounds of investment, bringing in thousands of visitors and engaging the local community.