Bradford has been revealed tonight as the UK’s next City of Culture on live TV.
Speaking on the BBC’s The One Show, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries revealed that the West Yorkshire city had been selected over the other three final shortlisted areas – Wrexham, Southhampton and Durham.
The decision means that Bradford will attract millions of pounds of investment, as well as spend a year in the cultural spotlight hosting numerous events.
As the news broke, Bradford locals hugged, cheered and cried in the crowd, before the camera panned to a group in Coventry holding up letters spelling out ‘Congratulations Bradford 2025 from Coventry 2021″.
A Bradford spokesperson said: “Congratulations to all the other cities for getting to this point, and come and party with us […] in 2025!”
They added: “We’re going to party all night”
The city follows in the footsteps of Coventry, Derry/Londonderry and Hull, who have all held the title since the first UK City of Culture was first announced in 2010.
Read more: 9 things you never knew about Bradford
A new city has been announced every four years since its inception.
The bidding process for 2025 was conducted between 2021 and 2022, with 20 areas initially shortlisted.
Dorries described Bradford as a “worthy winner” of the 2025 title.
She said: “Art and culture should be accessible to everyone and this prestigious title will help Bradford deliver unforgettable events for communities on their doorstep.
“Coventry has shown us how powerful the UK city of culture title is at boosting investment, attracting visitors and leaving a lasting legacy for local people.”
Ilkley Brewery tweeted in response to the news: “We are proud to be part of such a diverse, beautiful, creative and friendly community.”
Bradford boasts a large number of cultural assets, including the Kala Sangam Arts Centre, which specialises in South Asian art, the Bradford Literature Festival, the Brontë Parsonage, Saltaire Unesco world heritage site and the National Science and Media Museum.
It successfully argued in a document as part of its application for the prestigious title that it would transform the area into a “creative powerhouse – building on our existing cultural assets and heritage; attracting significant investment, jobs, and new opportunities for everyone who lives and works here”.
The judges said they were impressed with Bradford’s bid and the way it focused on celebrating the power of the city’s diversity in order to create new opportunities.
Sir Phil Redmond, chair of the competition’s independent advisory panel, added: “The selection is never about whether one bid is better than another, it is more that one bid has the potential to make a bigger and deliverable impact …. I am looking forward to seeing how far the cultural bar can be raised in .”