A WINTER festival of ‘light and surprise’ will see places across the district - including gardens, shopping centres and a 100ft mill roof - illuminated with artworks.

Grants have been awarded to artists and creatives as part of LIT, a winter cultural festival running until March, 2021. More than 25 site specific artworks will appear in unusual places and spaces in preparation for Bradford’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.

Large-scale commissions including buildings wrapped in flowing rope lights, giant balls of glowing yarn, and poems by of UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage projected onto buildings will appear in the new year.

Out of 120 applications, 11 artists received grants of £10,000-£15,000 by a panel from Bradford Council and Bradford 2025 to create light-focused artworks. They include In Memory of Water: Refractions, a partnership between Simon Armitage, Ilkley Literature Festival and projection mapping specialists Double Take Projections beaming six poems onto locations in and around Ilkley. Artist Alison Smith’s Lightweave: A Building Woven in Light; a giant neon macramé installation of LED rope lights, will cover a shopping area in Bradford city centre. Illuminos, known worldwide for huge projections on everything from city halls to rock faces, celebrates Bradford’s textile heritage with rotating scenes of sun, moon and sheep, and a a curious collection of winter woollies, lighting up the Wool Exchange.

Creatives and community groups also applied for up to £1,500 for smaller bespoke installations. The commissions, involving schoolchildren, elderly groups and care homes, include a 7ft neon sign featuring Emily Bronte’s words ‘No coward soul is mine’ on Haworth’s Pennybank House; a Winter Light Festival at Thornton’s South Square Centre and Disconnect, a film by Bradford-based Dance United Yorkshire about loneliness projected onto the Broadway shopping centre. The work is funded by Bradford Council, Bradford, Ilkley and Keighley BID, Bradford Producing Hub, The LEAP Bradford and Shipley and Bingley Town Councils in partnership with Bradford 2025. Bid Director Richard Shaw said: “This is just a small taste of what could happen across the district if we are successful in bidding for City of Culture 2025. In the run-up to the bid submission we want to show how Bradford has the architecture, space and creative skills to host large-scale projects. We can see from the overwhelming amount of applications that there is the interest and confidence to be part of Bradford’s story, and there’s a wealth of artistic talent already here ready to be shown to the rest of the world.”