Bradford’s City of Culture 2025 preparations receive £10m funding boost

Bradford will be the UK City of Culture in 2025 (Danny Lawson/PA)
Bradford will be the UK City of Culture in 2025 (Danny Lawson/PA)

The Government has announced £10 million of funding for Bradford to kick off its tenure as UK City of Culture 2025.

The city will also receive further funding of £5 million from Arts Council England (ACE) and £4.95 million from the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF), it has been announced.

The cash boost is to support Bradford’s programme of cultural activity over the year, which will see around 1,000 performances take place in existing sites and a new bespoke touring venue.

The team behind the bid, Bradford 2025, recently launched a competition with the Royal Institute of British Architects to design the venue, which will be called Beacon.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) says the programme is expected to generate 15.5 million visitors, a visitor spend of £136.9 million, and could deliver up to £389 million of growth for the city.

Bradford’s official bid for the title said it also aimed to create nearly 6,845 new jobs by 2030.

Dan Bates and Shanaz Gulzar, executive director and creative director at Bradford 2025, said: “There’s less than 18 months before we begin our year as the City of Culture 2025, and we welcome the funding announced today.

“As momentum starts to build, funding support is essential for us in delivering against our ambitions and creating an unforgettable year that Bradford needs and deserves.

“Over the coming months, thanks to the funding announced today, we’ll be able to progress key projects that will enable us to provide the opportunity for everyone in the district to engage in Bradford 2025 in some way – whether that is by attending an event, participating in a workshop, creating a performance or volunteering.”

Culture minister Stuart Andrew said: “We are investing £10 million in the city this year to help prepare for the event so we can make sure it stimulates new jobs and growth in the local economy through culture.

“We want to open up access to the arts, create opportunities for young people, and inspire our next generation of writers, artists and performers.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, said: “Now is our time, time for Bradford to shine and become a beacon for what’s great about Yorkshire, and about the North.

“We will also be the largest, most ambitious and the first district-wide City of Culture bid ever so we also remain optimistic that we will see more funding of this sort from the Government in the near future to help us fully realise the opportunity that being the UK City of Culture in 2025 brings.”