Bradford beats Southampton and County Durham to be crowned UK City of Culture 2025

31 May 2022, 19:36 | Updated: 31 May 2022, 20:31

Bradford has been named the UK City of Culture 2025.
Bradford has been named the UK City of Culture 2025. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Bradford has been crowned UK City of Culture 2025, taking on the prestigious title from Coventry.

The northern city won the title following a record 20 initial bids, beating fellow finalists County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough.

Bradford will now receive initial seed funding of £275,000 to begin preparation for a year of groundbreaking cultural activities in 2025.

It takes on the title from Coventry - which was the UK City of Culture for 2021.

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Labour MP for Bradford East Imran Hussain said he is "beyond delighted" that Nadine Dorries has named Bradford the UK City of Culture 2025.

The shadow employment rights and protections minister 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."

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Congratulations to Bradford, which is a worthy winner of UK City of Culture 2025.

“Art and culture should be accessible to everyone and this prestigious title will help Bradford deliver unforgettable events for communities on their doorstep.

“There was stiff competition and I thank County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough for their excellent bids.

“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.”

Boris Johnson has also congratulated the city of Bradford on its victory.

The Prime Minister tweeted: "Congratulations to the city of Bradford on becoming the UK's City of Culture for 2025."

"This title builds on the rich history and dynamism of the city, bringing investment and opportunity for everyone who lives and works there."

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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 funding 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 (DCMS) said.