THIS year’s Bradford Literature Festival attracted almost 32,000 visitors – more than three times the number who attended last year’s event.

The 10-day festival, which ran from May 20 to 29, saw events for people of all ages, including appearances by top authors, book launches, school visits and family events in City Park.

Last year’s event was attended by 9,446 people, and organisers have revealed that this year the number of people taking part skyrocketed to 31,782.

Plans are already under way for the 2017 festival.

This year’s highlights included a sold-out talk by Great British Bake Off star Nadyia Hussain, sessions looking at the work of the Bronte sisters, and literary-themed theatre performances for children.

The festival, organised by Syima Aslam and Irna Qureshi, was earlier this year awarded a £495,000 grant for 2016 and 2017. The event is also supported by sponsors Provident Financial.

Mrs Aslam said they had hoped to attract around 30,000 people to the 2016 festival.

She added: “The programme has been a lot bigger this year. Last year we had an Alice in Wonderland event in City Park and weren’t sure how it would go.

“It worked really well, so we had more events in City Park this year. Our aim was to make it a hub and focal point for the entire event.

“We had a lot of people come from further afield.

“I’ve spoken to people who came to the festival from London and Cardiff.

“For us the aim is to get bigger each year. As well as getting bigger names in, it is also important we get plenty of local artists and writers involved.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council said: “The Festival has been a great success and I congratulate the organisers. Not only did it attract visitors from all over the country but the national media, positive profile for Bradford has been tremendous.

“For me it’s an example of how Bradford talent can be encouraged to fulfil ambition and support the city’s success.”

Imran Hafeez, manager of the city’s National Literacy Trust Hub, said: “It’s been fantastic for us to partner with the festival and see such a high calibre and variety of speakers, artists and authors inspiring audiences.

“The authors who have visited schools, children’s centres and faith groups have shown their passion for the power of storytelling and made poetry come alive for the whole community.”