THE chair of Bradford's bid to be the next UK Capital of Culture has spoken of her hopes that the city will be shortlisted, and how the team are already planning for the next stage.

A formal bid was submitted to the Government earlier this week as part of Bradford's campaign to be crowned UK City of Culture 2025.

Bradford is one eight places from around the UK on the longlist, which will be whittled down by half next month. Then the final four will have a visit from the judges before learning the winning city in May.

Shanaz Gulzar, chair of Bradford 2025 told the Telegraph & Argus that they were already thinking of an itinerary for when the competition's judges could be coming to the district.

She said: "One has to be hopeful - and start planning for the next stage, because between between being announced, the shortlist and the judges arriving is within a month. So actually we have to start thinking about it from now in order to get the right people on board, think about the venues, think about locations.

"I was asking our team, what would you show the judges, if you were going to show them Bradford and the district. Some of our team members are very much at the heart of the community and were saying actually, I want them to meet this particular group of older women. I think they are going to be fantastic and they absolutely show the true spirit of Bradford.

"Another one of my team said, I want to see the Bradford that is the edgier Bradford. Another one said, let's not forget our fantastic cultural heritage - we might think everybody knows, for instance, that Howarth is very much Bradford, but that isn't necessarily always true."

She added: "We want to demonstrate that just as much as we have our hills and our mills, we have our writers, we have our poets, we have our painters. Just as much as we have given the Hockneys the Dynamos the Brontes to the world, we have also got more to give.

"We were talking about, from the Moors, to the streets, to the communities, to individual people - it's really exciting to listen to what they would put as the itinerary for the judges.

"I can guarantee you we're going to go through quite a few versions of the schedule."

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