Bradford gets £10m City of Culture boost from Government

Bradford is being given a cash boost of at least £10m to kick off the city’s tenure as UK City of Culture in 2025.

The investment will support the delivery of Bradford’s programme of cultural activity over the year – ranging from live performances in existing cultural venues to pop-up experiences in a bespoke touring venue, Beacon.

Around 1,000 performances will take place in 2025, developed alongside and in collaboration with local artists and creatives. They are expected to attract 15.5 million visitors and bring an additional visitor spend of £136.9 million into the local economy over the course of the year.

The increased cultural and economic activity is expected to deliver up to £389 million of growth for Bradford as UK City of Culture 2025.

The funding will also help Bradford with its ambition, set out in its bid to host the event, to create 6,845 new jobs and opportunities right across the city by 2030.

In addition, Arts Council England is allocating £5 million in National Lottery funding to support Bradford’s programme during its tenure as UK City of Culture.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund also confirms today it is awarding £4.95 million specifically to develop a programme of activities to bring the diverse heritage of the city to the fore during 2025’s celebrations.

Stuart Andrew, Culture Minister, said: “With its unique culture and young and vibrant population, Bradford will be a fantastic host for the UK City of Culture 2025.

“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.”

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 by the Minister. 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.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of UK City of Culture, with the first host being Derry-Londonderry in 2013, followed by Hull in 2017 and Coventry in 2021.

Dan Bates will be the guest speaker at’s Exploring the City of Culture: Bradford 2025  lunch in Bradford on Thursday 21 September.