Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
8:45 AM 21st March 2024

Major Announcements For Bradford 2025

Zayn Malik, the Bradford-born singer, announced as the Ambassador for Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture
L-R Daniel Bates, Shanaz Gulzar, from Bradford 2025 & Rami Baiteih CEO Morrisons. Credit Karol Wyszynski
L-R Daniel Bates, Shanaz Gulzar, from Bradford 2025 & Rami Baiteih CEO Morrisons. Credit Karol Wyszynski
Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture has made some major announcements to kickstart the countdown to Bradford district’s game-changing year as UK City of Culture in 2025.

Zayn Malik, the Bradford-born singer, has been appointed as the Ambassador for Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture.

Bradford is and always will be home to me. It’s a very special place and I’m happy to see it being recognised as the UK City of Culture for 2025. There are some exciting projects I am taking part in throughout the year that I can’t wait to share with you. I’ve travelled all over the world but my roots and family remain in Bradford. Now we can celebrate this great city and the people who live and work here with the rest of the world.
Zayn Malik

Malik was born and raised in East Bowling, Bradford, and still has strong connections to the city. Throughout the year, Zayn, along with the people of Bradford, will celebrate the district as the UK’s City of Culture. As Bradford’s 2025 Ambassador, Zayn will be taking part in some citywide activations and special projects that will celebrate all that the area has to offer, focusing on the rich diversity, culture and youth of the city – all to be announced later this year.

Osman Yousefzada
Osman Yousefzada
Artist Osman Yousefzada and French street theatre group Compagnie OFF will present work in Bradford this spring and summer, alongside a Four Nations photography project as a prelude of what’s to come in 2025.

Bradford 2025 and Screen Yorkshire launch Short Film Lab and Fund, a new partnership providing opportunities for filmmakers in the district.

Morrisons, the Bradford-based food retailer, announced as a Major Partner.

Bradford City AFC teams up with Bradford 2025 in a new partnership

3,500+ volunteers will be recruited from April to help deliver a game-changing year of creativity, culture and arts across Bradford district

If you can't wait

Those who cannot wait for the UK City of Culture to kick off next year will get an early flavour of Bradford 2025 through three special events announced today for 2024.

Each event will be free to all.

Where It Began
Friday 3 May – Sunday 13 October 2024, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery & Lister Park
Osman Yousefzada, the British-Pakistani artist, is presenting a special solo exhibition bringing together works from the artist’s recent solo show at the V&A with new works created especially for Bradford – and will be “wrapping” the statue of Diana the Huntress in Lister Park in a new artwork made in Bradford.

Les Girafes
Saturday 24 August 2024, Bradford City Centre
Compagnie OFF, the French street theatre company, are bringing seven larger than life-size scarlet giraffes to lead a magical free family-friendly parade of performers, musicians and an opera singer through the centre of Bradford.

Four Nations: Bradford
September 2024, around Bradford district
Bradford 2025 will be capturing photographs of the nation’s population to create striking photographic record of the UK today. Through a co-commission with Impressions Gallery and Bradford 2025, the portraits of Bradfordians will be shown in public places across the Bradford district to coincide with the UK City of Culture programme launch in September 2024, before all photographs are displayed in 2025 at Impressions Gallery in Bradford, Belfast Exposed, Ffotogallery in Cardiff and Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow.

New look

The new Bradford 2025 brand was also revealed. Created by Rabbithole, the Leeds-based design studio, the brand is a celebration of the district’s distinctive character, beautiful architecture and rural landscapes. Rabbithole worked closely with the Bradford 2025 team and the people of Bradford to capture what the city and district means to them. The brand includes a new ‘Love Bradford 2025’ logo, which works Bradford’s BD postcode prefix into a heart emblem. The logo is now available to download from the Bradford 2025 website [] – and everyone is invited to proudly share their love for Bradford by displaying it in their homes and businesses.

Bradford 2025: Made by Sodium with additional footage by Jack King and words by Kemmi Gill. Music by Kenzo Jae

Short Film Lab and Fund is a new opportunity for Bradford filmmakers to develop and create fiction and documentary short films. In partnership with Screen Yorkshire and The Unit (an open-access production space in Keighley co-funded by Bradford Council and Channel 4), Bradford 2025 will offer eight filmmakers or project teams the chance to take part in a 10-week development lab to incubate their ideas through a series of masterclasses, mentoring and workshops led by TV and film industry professionals. Three of the teams will be selected to produce and premiere their film in 2025 as part of Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture.

In 2024 we’re gearing up for a district-wide cultural programme which will put Bradford on a national and international stage. I’m thrilled Bradford’s very own superstar Zayn Malik is joining us on this journey – his creative vision and passion for his hometown strongly aligns with our brand values. Zayn’s involvement, as well as the three special events in 2024 and the collaboration with Screen Yorkshire, are just a taste of what’s to come in 2025. This is the start - our countdown has begun.
Shanaz Gulzar, Creative Director of Bradford 2025

We know that we must also take advantage of this moment on a national scale – all eyes will be on Bradford next year and as a national retailer we are looking at how we can raise the profile of UK City of Culture to our customers further afield. Given our role as a food maker, we are exploring ways in which we can showcase the district's diverse culinary heritage, including new products celebrating Bradford created at our innovation centre in the city, which officially opens this week. This is a once in a generation opportunity for Bradford and we look forward to working with partners across the district to make it a resounding success.
Rami Baitiéh, Chief Executive Officer of Morrisons


Plans were also revealed for Bradford 2025’s Volunteer Programme which aims to recruit 3,500+ people of Bradford to be the welcoming ‘faces’ of the district and help out behind the scenes at more than 1,000 shows, exhibitions and events in 2025. The programme is open to businesses keen to take part through their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, and to members of the public who can volunteer as much, or as little, time as they have available.

Volunteers will receive full support and training and applications will open from 10 April. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can find out more at a series of volunteer events throughout the spring and summer (dates to be announced) and the first cohort of volunteers will be supporting Bradford Council’s festival programme this year in addition to Bradford 2025’s own events.

To welcome Morrisons as a Major Partner, alongside the Bradford City AFC partnership, is a fantastic show of confidence in our designation as UK City of Culture. Together, we have exciting plans for ways in which we can reach thousands of people across the district and nationally to create further excitement and anticipation for what will be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

Our people powered the winning bid and through our Volunteer Programme we’re inviting them to play a part in delivering what we hope will be a transformational year for all of us. Along the way we’re inviting everyone, from artists to businesses, from schools to community groups, to help us bring to life a year of culture that could only happen here.
Daniel Bates, Executive Director of Bradford 2025

For all the latest news – including events, ways to get involved, grants available and corporate sponsorship opportunities, visit: