The team behind Bradford’s 2025 bid is visiting London for the final stage of the UK City of Culture contest, marking the last opportunity to make the case for the district to win the coveted title.

The four-strong cohort is made up of Shanaz Gulzar, chair of Bradford 2025, Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford Council, May McQuade, programme & community co-ordinator at Bradford 2025 and Kamran Rashid, CEO and co-founder of Impact Hub Bradford.

The group will present the district’s bid to the UK City of Culture Expert Advisory Panel, headed up by Sir Phil Redmond, at the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS).

The judges have the chance to rigorously interview the team and engage in long discussions about the ambitions and plans detailed in its bid.

Bradford 2025 - what happens next in the City of Culture bid?

It comes hot on the heels of the judges’ visit to Bradford for a cultural tour of the district’s unique and historic attractions and venues.

The visit saw Sir Phil – the writer behind Hollyoaks, Grange Hill and Brookside - remark on Bradford’s ‘hunger’ for the title, adding that Bradford had demonstrated its understanding of how “culture is a great catalyst to bring about change”.

Focusing on the past, present and future of Bradford, the bid team took judges on a tour around several key destinations, including Kala Sangam, Little Germany, Salts Mill, Lister’s Mill, Keighley and more.

Speaking on Tuesday, May 17, Ms Gulzar said: “Today is our last chance to impress the judges and prove that Bradford can deliver a city of culture year like nowhere else. The judges’ visit last week underlined the fact that our bid showcases the best of Bradford - its ambition, its energy and its creativity.

“I expect we’ll be put through our paces as we aim to show that our people and this place more than match up to the bid we put on paper.

“Today is about demonstrating that not only can we put together a winning bid, but we can deliver it too. The whole region is backing us and we have received support from thousands of people whose positive comments and good luck wishes are ringing in our ears today. The title is within touching distance - and we’ll do everything we can to win it for Bradford.”

Bradford’s shortlisted bid rivals in County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough will also face scrutiny from the Expert Advisory Panel.

The winner of City of Culture 2025 will be announced later this month.