Bradford named as one of eight longlisted places through to the next round of the UK City of Culture 2025 competition

Bradford is through to the next stage of the competition to host UK City of Culture in 2025.

The Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS),
Nadine Dorries, has announced that the district is one of eight longlisted places selected
from a highly competitive and far-reaching field of 20 locations from across the UK.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Culture is for everyone, regardless of their
background and I’m delighted that the bids from our eight longlisted places will help areas
across the UK level up by increasing access to culture.

“I wish all our successful bids luck in the next phase of the competition. Bradford’s bid
showed huge promise and I look forward to seeing what they have in store.”

This marks a major milestone for Bradford which has committed to embedding culture in the
district’s inclusive growth as part of a 10-year cultural strategy, ‘Culture is Our Plan’.

Responding to the longlist announcement, presenter and artist Shanaz Gulzar – Chair of
Bradford 2025 said: “We’re thrilled to have made the longlist for UK City of Culture 2025.
The competition is about to ramp up and we are completely focused on creating the best
possible bid – a winning bid – with and for the district. Bradford district is changing fast and
we want to use our rich cultural heritage, our storytellers, our innovators and our diverse
young population to create a bid that is both recognisably Bradford and a new story written
on our own terms. We’re in this to win.”

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe – Leader of Bradford Council said: “Thousands of people across
Bradford, Keighley, Ilkley, Shipley and Bingley have been involved in getting the district to
this point. To be selected for the longlist of eight is a massive show of confidence in all that
we’ve done together.”

Winning the UK City of Culture title will be a game-changer for Bradford, putting the district
firmly on the national and international stage. A City of Culture designation brings
considerable long-term benefits including increased employment, new investment, enhanced
skills, renewed pride, greater cultural capacity and more opportunities to participate in arts
and cultural activities.

Preparations for Bradford 2025 to date already have generated a new confidence in the
area’s creative sector which has secured £2 million for The Leap, the city’s Creative People
and Places programme, and £1.5 million for Bradford Producing Hub – one of only two pilot
projects in the UK receiving funds to develop local talent.

The district is also set to benefit from a number of major cultural capital projects currently
underway including a new 4,000 capacity music venue, Bradford Live, due to open next
year; the £23 million flagship Darley Street Market including a 750-capacity venue; the
National Science and Media Museum’s new galleries and the Transforming Cities £50 million
public realm enhancement programme.

Beyond the cultural sector, Bradford 2025 already has created new partnerships between
the public and private sectors, with more than 35 businesses across the district including
The Broadway, Morrisons, Jinnah Group, Rushbond PLC and Yorkshire Building Society
coming on board to champion the bid. The campaign also has seen new levels of
collaboration between University of Bradford and Bradford Council.

David Potts, CEO of Morrisons said: “People are increasingly aware of Bradford’s
potential and that’s good for residents, good for businesses and good for visitors. Local
people will benefit hugely from the opportunities, not to mention the incredible experiences,
of a year-long City of Culture celebration. We are looking forward to supporting the bid over
the coming months and creating awareness of the campaign amongst our thousands of
customers as well as our colleagues across the district”.

Bradford 2025 Bid Director, Richard Shaw, said: “Our focus now, alongside creating a
winning bid, is to ensure that everyone – all local people from every corner of the district –
joins us to make ours the most inclusive, most imaginative bid.

Now that we’re officially on our way to creating ‘BD25’ – an extraordinary and dynamic
destination where great things can happen, we need the help of everyone in the district. We
want to create a programme that is unique to Bradford, to build ‘BD25’, a new place and time
where difference is celebrated, where we relish diverse views, where creativity can flourish
and thrive.”

The longlisted places must now submit their final bids in January 2022. Local people can get
involved in shaping the themes and cultural activities for Bradford 2025’s final bid
submission and everyone is encouraged to attend one of the community events that are now
taking place in every ward across the district.

The winner of the UK City of Culture 2025 competition will be announced in May 2022.

  • Ends –
    For press and media enquiries contact Debbie Bradley or Olivia Rhodes at Anita Morris
    Associates on / /
    01943 603311
    Notes to Editors
    Twitter: @Bradford2025
    Facebook: /bradford2025
    Bradford 2025 is the district’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025. Awarded every four years
    by Government the UK City of Culture title has had a transformational impact on previous
    host cities, securing millions of pounds of investment and acting as a catalyst for creative
    place-making and culture-led regeneration. Bradford district’s bid is backed by Bradford
    Metropolitan District Council with the University of Bradford as a strategic partner.
    Bradford 2025 is driven by the Cultural Place Partnership which includes Bradford Council,
    University of Bradford and other representatives of the cultural sector and national funders.
    The bid forms part of Culture is Our Plan – Bradford Council’s cultural strategy until 2031.

In July 2021, Bradford district was officially named as one of 20 UK locations bidding for the
title, the highest number of entries in the competition’s history and a resounding show of
confidence in the transformational impact the designation can afford.
Eight longlisted locations were announced by the DCMS in October 2021 and include
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby,
Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough.
Up to four places will be shortlisted in March 2022 ahead of the winning location being
announced in spring 2022.

Corporate partners for Bradford UK City of Culture 2025 bid include


● Emerald Group Publishing
● Telegraph & Argus (LOCALiQ)
● Rushbond PLC
● Morrisons PLC
● The Broadway, Bradford
● Bradford Bulls
● Jinnah Group


● Platinum Partnership Solicitors
● Bombay Stores
● Regency Hall

● CityFibre
● Exa Networks
● Schofield Sweeney
● Bradford City Football Club
● My Lahore
● Muse Developments
● Arup
● Bradford BID
● Welcome to Yorkshire
● Naylor Wintersgill
● Expect Distribution
● Great Victoria Hotel
● Yorkshire Building Society

Balfour Beatty
● Faithful+Gould
● Sovereign Health Care


Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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