Bradford City of Culture 2025: Economic and skills growth 

Those who know the University of Bradford will be aware that it has actively reaffirmed its commitment as a civic University over the past few years, pledging to put economic development and quality of life in the local community top of its list of priorities. So it is with great pride and excitement that we received the news this week that Bradford will be the City of Culture 2025, especially as a a strategic partner alongside the Council and key collaborator informing the bid. 

Bradford: City of Culture 2025! What an honour! The countless benefits for the city in terms of economic growth, cultural impact and opportunities for our young people really are something to get excited about, not to mention the long term positive social, health and wellbeing effects that will come about as a result. It means creating more opportunities for people and boosting social mobility through investment and skill development – something that aligns perfectly with the University’s own vision and long-term strategy. 

The fact that the city is youngest in Europe, with 29% of its population under 20 years old and more than a quarter under 16, has been cited as one of the key reasons why the City of Culture is coming to Bradford, and rightly so. When you consider the impact it can have on all these young lives, unlocking their potential, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, it will be transformational – a game-changer for Bradford, putting the district and its people firmly on the national and international stage culturally, socially and economically. Bradford is where passionate young voices of the future will be heard. 

Bradford’s bid celebrates a rapidly changing place where people live, where the power of diversity can be harnessed to generate creative thinking, radical ideas and new prospects across the district. With its independence of spirit, there is no doubt that Bradford will do it differently.  

Beyond the cultural sector, Bradford 2025 has already 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, and now Bradford has the crown, more will follow. As a catalyst for change and investment, it is predicted the City of Culture could lead to £700m worth of investment across the district and create up to 3,000 jobs. 

The University too will be gearing up to participate in the delivery of a spectacular series of events to showcase the unique mix of talent and culture emerging in this rapidly changing city. We plan to play our part in unleashing the limitless imaginations of our young and diverse population, preparing students and graduates for the opportunities to come, and to bring about the positive changes that arts and culture can make in everyone’s life; changing perceptions of Bradford in the UK and around the world. 


Alison Hedley, Employer and Placement Services Manager, University of Bradford