BUSINESSES from across the district are backing Bradford's City of Culture 2025 bid, with a further eight corporate partners joining the campaign.

There are now more than 35 companies officially supporting the bid, covering sectors from hospitality and retail to property and financial services.

Joining as Bid Champions are the UK’s largest Asian department store, Bombay Stores, and Platinum Partnership Solicitors, which offers legal services throughout the UK.The new Bid Partners are: leading international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty; integrated project and programme management consultancy Faithful+Gould; independent chartered accountants Naylor Wintersgill; Sovereign Health Care, one of the UK’s leading cash plan providers, based in Bradford over 148 years; and New Premium Club Member LCF Law, which has offices in Bradford, Ilkley, Leeds and Harrogate. Representatives from each business met at Bradford's Great Victoria Hotel, also a new Bid Partner, to share hopes for the Culture title.

Daniel Kirkham, General Manager of the Great Victoria Hotel, said: “We were thrilled to host the new corporate partners who understand how the City of Culture title could offer major opportunities for the business community. We know the designation has attracted millions of tourists for previous host cities, more visitors means more people spending money in the city and beyond which will be an economic boost for the whole district.”

Saleem Kader, Managing Director of Bombay Stores, added: “We’re proud to be from Bradford, any opportunity to put the city on the map and showcase what makes the district so special can only be good for business. As we head toward the next stage of the contest, we need to show that it’s not just the cultural community backing the bid, the business sector is fully behind it too. We look forward to working together to showcase just why Bradford deserves to be the next UK City of Culture.”

In July Bradford was officially named as one of 20 UK cities bidding for the title - the highest number of entries in the competition’s history. The longlist of cities through to the next round is expected to be announced this week. Founding partners of Bradford's bid include Emerald Group Publishing, Morrisons and The Broadway and bid partners include CityFibre, Exa Networks, Schofield Sweeney, My Lahore, Muse Development, Arup, Bradford Bid, Welcome Yorkshire and Yorkshire Building Society,

* To find out how to back the bid email

* Pictured are: Back row: Daniel Kirkham, Great Victoria Hotel; Phil Thwaite, Faithful+Gould; Alison Whalley, Naylor Wintersgill; Simon Stell, LCF; Mick Chandsoor.

Front row: Caroline Bromham, Sovereign Health Care; Saleem Kader, Bombay Stores; Nasreen Karim, Platinum Partnership Solicitors; Asma Bibi, Great Victoria Hotel. Pic: Karol Wyszynski