Bradford Council has revealed how much taxpayer money will be spent in the run-up to the City of Culture year.

The figures were released to the Telegraph & Argus after a Freedom of Information request to Bradford Council.

Winning the City of Culture bid was hailed as a way to start a new chapter in Bradford’s story.

There was cacophony of sound and multicoloured flares in City Park when the news was unveiled on The One Show in June.

Bradford received £275,000 from the Government, kickstarting preparation for a jam-packed year of unforgettable cultural celebrations in 2025.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford 2025 team celebrating in Coventry after the win was announced.Bradford 2025 team celebrating in Coventry after the win was announced. (Image: Mark Radford Photography)

The Council’s spending is expected to reach £30 million by 2025 – of that number, the Council has allocated £10 million of taxpayer money into its budget provision.

The remaining money has been sourced through significant funding from other public agencies and private investors.

Releasing the information at the end of 2022, a Council spokesperson said: “Bradford Council has allocated in its budget provision for the next three years £10m for the City of Culture 2025.”

Previous discussions saw the Council allocate £3 million worth of investment towards work on the City of Culture for the current financial year alone.

By 2030, the City of Culture title’s legacy is predicted to return on the council’s overall investment by £26 to every £1.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The moment Bradford was revealed as the City of Culture 2025 winner The moment Bradford was revealed as the City of Culture 2025 winner

In response to the FOI, a Council spokesperson said: “City of Culture will mean a significant level of investment in the Bradford district, with almost 7,000 new jobs created and a likely visitor spend of around £700 million.

“The total budget for delivery of City of Culture over four years is estimated at £30 million of which the council is providing £10 million. The council’s investment, which was supported across political parties, makes it more likely that we will be able to attract significant funds from other public agencies and private investors, including Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and sponsors. 

“The new senior management delivery team for the City of Culture Trust, who are starting in their new roles shortly, will be looking to maximise the investment from other agencies to make sure that 2025 is a great year for the district and provides a positive economic legacy.

“The £30 million projected investment, will be significantly outweighed by the expected revenue from the huge influx of visitors to the district the City of Culture programme and the many jobs it will create.

“The City of Culture will bring a much welcome boost to our local economy, not just through the programme itself, but also the lasting positive impact it will have on businesses through an increased visitors to Bradford district. We expect to see a boost of £365 million GVA to the local economy.” 

Looking towards the big year, the Bradford 2025 team hasn’t given anything away just yet.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Joy as Bradford was announced as the winner of UK City of Culture 2025Joy as Bradford was announced as the winner of UK City of Culture 2025 (Image: Newsquest)

Although it has revealed that the landmark year is set to deliver more than 1,000 new performances and events.

That culture-packed itinerary includes 365 artist commissions, a series of major arts festivals and “exciting national and international collaborations”.

These events, the team says, will be themed around “the unique heritage and character of Bradford and reveal the magic of the district that is held in its people, its ambition, and above all, its potential”.

The funding is also expected to be used on covering the costs for creatives to help reduce industry barriers, such as access costs, and training for volunteers.

Bradford beat County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough to the UK City of Culture title.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Looking back at when Bradford was announced as the winner of UK City of Culture 2025Looking back at when Bradford was announced as the winner of UK City of Culture 2025 (Image: Newsquest)

With a quarter of Bradford’s population under 18, youth engagement has been a key part of the bid.

Renowned artist Shanaz Gulzar, the former chair of Bradford 2025, has now taken on a new role as the creative director.

Reflecting on the win in June 2022, the Keighley artist said: “Our bid is district wide - 2025 will take place in our mills, across our hills, in our towns, in our streets and our homes.

“The slogan ‘Our Time, Our Place’ forms the foundation of our bid, our pride of place never left us. We just needed the opportunity to bring our truth to life.

“The established narratives don’t reflect who we are. We are renowned for diversity and of course it is complicated but also beautiful, brimming with imagination and creativity.

“We have given some extraordinary artists to the world, and we are creating stars of the future too.”

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