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Bradford named UK City of Culture 2025

2GDX80C Bradford City Hall and Centenary Square with its fountains, West Yorkshire, England UK
2GDX80C Bradford City Hall and Centenary Square with its fountains, West Yorkshire, England UK

Bradford has been named the UK City of Culture 2025.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries made the announcement live on the BBC’s The One Show.

Bradford beat fellow finalists County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough.

The city was described as “beautiful” and “brilliant” by one local MP, who told of his delight at the win.

Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East, tweeted: “Bradford is beautiful, Bradford is brilliant, and Bradford is the now the #UKCityofCulture2025!!

“There really is no better place, and I’m beyond delighted that the Minister agrees with me.”

The Bradford 2025 official bid account on Twitter wrote: “This is our time to celebrate our extraordinary district – and for our young population to become leaders and change-makers to begin an exciting new chapter in our story.”

The shortlist was compiled from a record group of 20 that registered bids to take over the title from Coventry.

The advisory panel, chaired by Sir Phil Redmond, visited the four shortlisted places before making their final recommendation in May, which was later approved by Ms Dorries.

For the first time this year, the eight longlisted winners received a £40,000 grant to strengthen their applications. They included Cornwall, Derby, Stirling and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.

Since winning the title, Coventry has seen more than £172 million invested in music concerts and the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery, as well as a further £500 million for the city’s regeneration, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.

Coventry marks the closing of its tenure as UK City of Culture
Coventry marks the closing of its tenure as UK City of Culture (Doug Peters/PA)

Ms Dorries said the standard of entries this year was “phenomenal”.

Asked what she wanted to say to the four shortlisted cities, she said: “I think I’d like to say thank you because everybody has worked exceptionally hard.

“The standard was phenomenal and, for the first time ever, this year we’re awarding a prize to the runners up. It’s not been done before but the standard was so high, we felt we had to so no-one’s going home empty-handed. Those who don’t win will be going home with £125,000.”

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