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One day, two events as north and south unite to showcase Bradford’s cultural and economic offering

Two events showcasing Bradford’s cultural might and economic growth will be hosted and attended by leading broadcast personalities this week, putting the spotlight on the city and its district.

Thursday 26 September sees the unprecedented, same-day north and south celebrations of Bradford’s economic growth alongside the formal announcement of its bid to be City of Culture 2025 as leaders from all sectors unite to position Bradford as a place to live, invest, visit and work.

Cultural partners and community supporters will join civic and business leaders at Kala Sangam at 8.30am to see the premier of a two-minute video which puts the spotlight on Bradford’s cultural heart. Mary Dowson, founder of Bradford Community Broadcasting (BCB) and chair of the steering group which will lead the City of Culture bid, will welcome invited guests and discuss the impact on Hull and Coventry of both running for and securing the City of Culture title.*

At 5.30pm at the Southbank Centre in London, the “Bradford Champions Modern British Culture” event will be opened by Bradford Economic Partnership chairman Dave Baldwin who will look at progress 18-months on from the launch of the 12-year Bradford Economic Strategy, reflecting on success in business, employment, closing the skills gap and announcing to national and regional guests, the district’s bid to be City of Culture 2025.

Hosted by BBC journalist Sabbiyah Pervez, the two-hour event will include speeches from Sir Peter Bazalgette, non-executive chair at ITV and chair of online retailer, LoveCrafts who recently led an independent review into the UK’s creative industries on behalf of the government, Madani Younis, a former Bradfordian and founder of the city’s Freedom Studios and now creative director at the Southbank Centre and Lynette Huntley, Channel 4 Chief of Staff.

Both events are heralded as instrumental in communicating Bradford’s confidence, its results and its diverse business, cultural and tourism offering to attract further investment into the city and wider district.

David Baldwin, chair of the Bradford Economic Partnership which launched in 2018, setting out a strategy to add £4bn to the district’s economy, generate 20,000 new jobs and improve the skills of nearly 50,000 residents by 2030, said: “Thursday represents two crucial moments in our national repositioning of Bradford. Community representatives, our business and civic leaders and our supporters are gathering at home and in London to showcase and share exactly what today’s Bradford is and who tomorrow’s Bradford will be.

“Bradford is experiencing a resurgence of confidence which is reflected in our cultural, tourism and business offerings and seen in the success of the figures I’ll be announcing on Thursday.

“We have an energy, a spirit, a charm and an offering like no other city in the UK. We’re attracting national brands and leading financial, retail and professional service businesses to our city. We’re chosen by more entrepreneurs than anywhere else in the country as the place to start a business and we’re leading the drive to reinvent and reposition manufacturing – the very lifeblood of the UK economy – to the next generation of employees.

“This week Bradford starts its bid to become the UK’s City of Culture and, through our ambitious economic strategy we will continue our journey as one of the pioneer cities in the UK through job creation, skills development, investment and cultural partnerships. To a national audience on Thursday we will demonstrate how Bradford is the epitome of pride, ambition, confidence and potential and we will be calling for some of the country’s most influential thought leaders and investors to join us, visit us, invest in us and shape their future with us.”

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council who will be speaking at both events, added: “Bradford is the youngest city in the UK which gives us real creative energy. But we also have a centuries-old cultural heritage which makes us stand out from the crowd. We will be talking to audiences at home and in the capital on Thursday to promote the Bradford bid to build on the growing confidence the district has, as we start this next exciting chapter of Bradford’s cultural and economic growth.”