BRADFORD'S main shopping streets will be brought to life with a riot of weekend colour and fun this summer.

Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) is laying on a host of street animation starting this week and running for the next seven Saturdays, with a variety of entertainment.

The professional entertainers will provide a memorable experience for children and adults as they roam the streets, providing opportunities for photos and selfies.

Leanne Holmes, project officer for the BID, the limited company funded by levy-payers to help promote and develop the city centre, said the lifting of Covid restrictions had provided a great opportunity to bring some fun back to the city centre.

“As we encourage people to Rediscover Bradford, it’s brilliant to have the chance to make the experience lively and fun-packed again in a safe and measured way,” she said.

“Children love nothing more than meeting these larger-then-life characters and they provide fabulous opportunities for family photos.

“All of the entertainers are trained and experienced performers, with skills such as stilt-walking and acrobatics, and they will really help to bring the streets to life.”

Each of the BID’s Seven Saturdays of Summer will showcase a different theme and different costumes and characters.

Tomorrow (July 24) will see a “Wonderland Takeover” with a certain adventurous young lady and a crazy character who’s rather fond of tea parties patrolling on stilts, along with a tubby set of twin acrobats!

The following weeks’ themes will feature The Animated Chefs (July 31), the Enchanted Weekend (August 7), Offside! (August 14), Circus Weekend (August 21), RO:BOT (August 28) and The Bradford Carnival (September 4).

The characters will be appearing each week between 11.30am and 2.30pm, except for Saturday, August 14, when they will be performing from 12noon to 3pm to fit in with Bradford City’s first game of the season.

The performers will all be provided on behalf of the BID by locally-based NVRLND, which specialises in providing event experiences for public events as well as corporate and private celebrations. They have performed in eight countries.

Founder Victoria Lobley-Eames said: “We are so excited to be a part of Bradford BID’s Seven Saturdays of Summer and to add a little NVRLND magic to these events!”

Bradford BID manager Jonny Noble said: “When we were launching the proposal to set up the Business Improvement District in 2018 we carried out a good deal of market research and shoppers, visitors and businesses alike all told us that they would like to see the streets come to life more.

“As a result, ALIVE became one of the four key pillars of the BID’s five-year business plan as we set out to help bring more people to the city centre.

“That has been extremely hard to achieve over the last 16 months or so because of the Covid-19 pandemic but, now the restrictions have been eased, we can start to steadily bring back some of the animation, colour and fun we’d planned – always, of course, bearing in mind the need to maintain public safety.

“Alongside Bradford Council’s Summer Unlocked initiative, we hope to persuade more and more people to Rediscover Bradford and, in doing so, help to support the 600 or so businesses who, through their annual levy, have paid to provide these initiatives for their customers’ entertainment.

“We know Bradford city centre has very loyal customers and footfall is steadily increasing but businesses – and all their local employees – need all the help they can get to recover from the huge challenges they have had to face.”