A top arts minister has described Bradford as "full of energy" after visiting several key points in the city.

Lord Stephen Parkinson, the under-secretary of State for Arts, praised Bradford ahead of the judges' tour today.

Inspired by the City of Culture bid, the life peer is touring all four shortlisted areas to explore different cultural landscapes across the UK.

It marked the first time he had visited Bradford since childhood.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photo via Asadour Guzelian. Photo via Asadour Guzelian.

Lord Parkinson in Bradford

The baron first stopped by the Impact Hub in Little Germany, a globally connected social innovation hub and resource for local filmmakers supported by Bradford Council, Impact Hub and Channel 4.

Lord Parkinson also toured round the Bradford Live site, People Powered Press - home to the largest letterpress machine of its kind in the world - and Salts Mill for the new Hockney exhibition.

READ MORE: City of Culture judges are coming to Bradford today - here's where they'll visit

Speaking to the T&A, Lord Parkinson said: "It's great, full of energy, people of all ages involved in the bid and it's really clear what excitement there is. I wanted to get out to all four of the cities - getting to this stage in the competition is an achievement in itself.

"We've seen from previous winners like Hull that the City of Culture has huge benefits in terms of businesses being started and giving people the opportunity to learn something new and learn new skills; and unlocking a lifetime of love of arts and culture.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photo via Asadour Guzelian shows Lord Parkinson in Bradford.Photo via Asadour Guzelian shows Lord Parkinson in Bradford.

"Culture is for everybody. We all have culture and creativity in us and it's about getting people to come and share their stories, not just on the national stage but international as well."

Describing his time at Bradford Live, he said: "It was a real privilege to put a hard hat on. It's a huge space and you see the potential for having fantastic events and, of course, the location is so good as well. To imagine all the live music, all the events, that will be taking place in a matter of months."

The baron sent good luck messages to the district as he departed by train.

"Congratulations to everybody involved for getting shortlisted and best of luck for the next stage," Lord Parkinson added.