More than £6m to be approved for region’s creative sector and visitor economy

Bradford 2025

Over £6m is set to be approved by regional leaders today – 14 March – to help drive economic growth through West Yorkshire’s creative industries.

Most of the investment (£5.7m) will contribute to the delivery of Bradford UK City of Culture 2025 – a landmark year of cultural events, festivals and celebrations.

Previous cities with the prestigious title, including Coventry and Hull, have benefited from a surge of local and global visitors as well as significant economic growth.

Next year’s cultural celebrations are expected to have a similar, major impact for Bradford and the wider region.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: “West Yorkshire is the place to be for culture and creativity – more so now than ever, with the epic Bradford UK City of Culture 2025 just months away.

“This will give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow our economy and show the world what we’ve got – from our vibrant, heritage-rich hotspots, to our gold standard creative talent.

“Investing in culture is a key part of building a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire that works for all.”

To further boost tourism in the region, £500,000 is also to be approved to drive forward initiatives for West Yorkshire’s newly established Local Visitor Economy Partnership.

The partnership, approved by VisitEngland in July, aims to capitalise on the upcoming cultural opportunities for the region while increasing the awareness of West Yorkshire as a top destination for tourists, businesses and people to visit, live and work.

Supporting the development of events, transport and accommodation, the new investment is expected to boost visitor numbers, grow the economy, and support new skills and jobs.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “In 2025 Bradford will be the UK City of Culture. It’s our opportunity to shine.

“Bradford is a global city with connections all over the world. Representing the country that year is a real honour for us.

“We will be celebrating our vibrant, diverse culture and our rich history. We’ll be the focus for local, national and international talent.

“This additional £6m of funding approved by West Yorkshire Combined Authority is very welcome and shows the level of confidence our partners have in what will be an amazing year for Bradford, West Yorkshire and the UK.”