We’re thrilled to annouce that Shanaz Gulzar and Dan Bates have been appointed to lead the development and delivery of our UK City of Culture 2025 programme.

Shanaz Gulzar, the nationally-acclaimed artist, producer, presenter and former Chair of Bradford 2025 who played an instrumental role in the district’s winning bid campaign, has been appointed as Creative Director.

Daniel Bates will take up the role of Executive Director from his previous role as Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres, drawing on his expertise developing world-class programmes for major cultural institutions.

‘I’m of Bradford, a Keighley lass,’ said Shanaz Gulzar. ‘Having been part of the cultural community here for over 25 years, I know the passion and potential of the brilliant artists and creative communities in the district.’

The landmark year is set to deliver more than 1,000 new performances and events. including 365 artist commissions, a series of major arts festivals, and exciting national and international collaborations.

‘When I heard that Bradford had won the title of UK City of Culture 2025, I was so excited for what an opportunity a year of culture can bring to the district and its people,’ said Dan Bates. ‘I am even more so now to deliver this for the district, alongside working with Shanaz, and can’t wait to get to work.’

Shanaz and Dan will initially focus on recruiting the wider delivery team over the coming months, before work to bring Bradford’s winning bid to life starts in 2023.

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Shanaz and Dan are going to be a great team to lead on the delivery of Bradford’s UK City of Culture programme. We look forward to working with and supporting them to deliver a transformational year of culture that will also generate many opportunities in employment, inward investment and enhanced skills for people across the district.”