A BRADFORD organisation is carrying out a community clean-up ahead of an exciting event which will celebrate the history and culture of Manningham.

Bradford4Better wants people to feel “proud” of their area in the run-up to The Mills Are Alive, an event which will see an impressive light display descend on Lister Mills.

The free event - which will be led by local arts company The Brick Box, with support from the City of Culture bid team – will take place from 3 March to 5 March.

Volunteers from Bradford4Better will meet at Lister Mills at 11am on Sunday, where they will work as a team to tidy up the area.

Dr Sohail Ahmed, the group’s vice-chair, said: “Locals in Manningham are excited ahead of the clean-up, and it will give them a sense of pride and ownership of their area.

“Local community groups and mosques have all mobilised to smarten up the area, in anticipation of what we are expecting to be a big crowd for The Mills Are Alive.

“Manningham is hosting the rest of Bradford and beyond for this event. It’s like when you have guests in your house, and you clean up before they come.

“Bradford4Better does local clean-ups every week, and district-wide clean-ups every couple of months. We are a volunteer-led organisation, and volunteer support is absolutely crucial.”

Dr Ahmed added that the clean-up can also help to counteract negative stereotypes that some people may hold.

“There can be a lot of negativity about Manningham, but things like this help to change people’s perceptions”, he said.

“Our clean-ups are universal, and they overcome barriers. No matter your background or where you’re from, you want to live in a clean place.

“It’s not about politics or religion, we all live here together and it’s our community. The clean-ups also help us to get to know each other better.

“If we make it better together, that’s the best way.

“The Brick Box and the City of Culture bid team also want events to be inclusive, and are making a conscious effort to involve areas where you wouldn’t normally see art and exhibitions as much.

“It’s a way of trying to be fair and equal across the board.

“Bradford4Better is about the people, and we want to empower people and give them the tools and skills they need to improve their areas.

“If people need any support, information or resources, they can contact us - and we can help them to build cleaner communities.”

For more information, visit bradford4better.com.