Liverpool won the European Capital of Culture title in 2008. This was a Europe-wide competition to highlight one city based on its cultural offer, encouraging people to visit, and bringing in money that helped to support and grow culture in the city even further.
This proved such a huge success for the city and the region that a UK-specific City of Culture initiative was launched in 2013 to give more cities in the UK a chance to hold a title that draws attention to their cultural offering and brings economic and cultural benefits.
Every four years, a new UK City of Culture is chosen. Bradford will be entering a bid to become UK City of Culture in 2025.
Being UK City of Culture will be a real game-changer for Bradford. It will give the city a platform to tell the UK and the world what we have to offer.
It will leave a lasting legacy of increased visitor numbers and a more vibrant, sustainable cultural sector.
And it will improve the quality of life and opportunities for local people, with increased opportunities to participate in culture, to gain experience as a volunteer and to access to jobs in the tourism and cultural sectors.
We hope that our programme will also bring greater community engagement across the district and celebrate our diverse communities.
The UK City of Culture bid for Bradford will be designed to have an impact on the city in the following ways:
In addition, the most recent annual report from Arts Council England (based on data from the Office for National Statistics) highlights the following facts about the value of culture in the UK:
We are hoping that as many people as possible will get involved with the bid in one way or another.
Bradford Culture Company aims to support a broad range of exceptional, high profile new creative work as part of the bidding process. In particular we aim for work that is:
We expect to be agile and flexible in making funding commitments. We will fully fund projects where necessary and we will partner with others on some occasions. Our decisions on what to fund will come from:
The nature of a City of Culture bid is that inevitably we will sometimes work in confidence and by invitation-only to prevent revealing our projects to other competing cities at an early stage, an essential tool in what is a competitive process. We would expect to offer a range of funding opportunities, sometimes working with other funders including the LEAP, Bradford Producing Hub, BMDC and others, on some occasions by collaborating on co-commissions/grant rounds.