City of Culture bosses made a raft of major announcements at an event held in Bradford this evening - as momentum continues to build ahead of 2025.

A trio of events will be held this year - including a magical parade of life-size giraffes through the centre of Bradford - to give residents and visitors an early flavour of the big year.

Details of high-profile partnerships with Bradford-based Morrisons and Bradford City AFC have also been revealed.

Meanwhile, superstar singer Zayn Malik has been named as Bradford 2025's official ambassador.

A new Love Bradford 2025 logo - designed to become the symbol of the city's big year - was also revealed to guests at The University of Bradford Stadium, Valley Parade.

City of Culture events in 2024

Seven larger than life, scarlet giraffes will lead a spectacular family-friendly parade of performers, musicians, and an opera singer through the centre of Bradford.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The French theatre company's scarlet giraffesThe French theatre company's scarlet giraffes (Image: Enzographe)

It is set to take place on Saturday, August 24.

Art lovers can see a special solo exhibition by British-Pakistani artist Osman Yousefzada at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery and Lister Park.

Taking place between May 3 and October 13, ‘Where It Began’ brings together Yousefzada’s colourful artworks from his recent V&A exhibition and new works made exclusively for Bradford.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Works by Osman YousefzadaWorks by Osman Yousefzada (Image: Bradford 2025)

The artist will be “wrapping” the statue of Diana the Huntress in Lister Park for a new artwork made in Bradford.

In September, people can delve into a striking photographic record of the UK today

Acting as a prelude of what’s to come in 2025, ‘Four Nations’ will feature portraits of Bradfordians in public spaces across the district. 

It is a co-commission with Impressions Gallery and Bradford 2025.

It will tie in with the UK City of Culture programme launch in September 2024.

All photographs will be displayed in 2025 at Impressions Gallery, Belfast Exposed, Ffotogallery in Cardiff and Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow.

Film masterclasses

There will also be a new opportunity for Bradford filmmakers to develop and create fiction and documentary short films.

Short Film Lab and Fund is running in partnership with Screen Yorkshire and The Unit, an open-access production space in Keighley.

Bradford 2025 will offer eight filmmakers or project teams the chance to take part in a 10-week development lab to nurture their ideas through a series of masterclasses, mentoring and workshops led by TV and film industry professionals.

Three of the teams will be selected to produce and premiere their film in 2025 as part of Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture.

The exciting developments were released at Valley Parade on Tuesday night.

The new Bradford 2025 logo 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The new Bradford 2025 logo for City of CultureThe new Bradford 2025 logo for City of Culture (Image: Bradford 2025)

The new Love Bradford 2025 logo - which works the BD postcode prefix into a heart emblem - was unveiled.

It was created by Rabbithole, a Leeds-based design studio, to represent the district’s distinctive character, beautiful architecture and rural landscapes.

Rabbithole worked closely with the Bradford 2025 team and the people of Bradford to capture what the city and district means to them.

The logo is now available to download from the Bradford 2025 website, with everyone invited to proudly share their love for Bradford by displaying it in their homes and businesses.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The new Love Bradford 2025 logo being sported at Valley ParadeThe new Love Bradford 2025 logo being sported at Valley Parade (Image: Newsquest, Mike Simmonds)

Shanaz Gulzar, creative director of Bradford 2025, said: “In 2024 we’re gearing up for a district-wide cultural programme which will put Bradford on a national and international stage. 

“I’m thrilled Bradford’s very own superstar Zayn Malik is joining us on this journey – his creative vision and passion for his hometown strongly aligns with our brand values. 

Zayn’s involvement, as well as the three special events in 2024 and the collaboration with Screen Yorkshire, are just a taste of what’s to come in 2025. This is the start - our countdown has begun.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dan Bates and Shanaz Gulzar, picturedDan Bates and Shanaz Gulzar, pictured (Image: Tim Smith)

Volunteering opportunities

Plans were also announced for Bradford 2025’s Volunteer Programme which aims to recruit more than 3,500 people. 

Volunteers will help out behind the scenes at more than 1,000 shows, exhibitions and events in 2025. 

The programme is open to businesses keen to take part through their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, as well as members of the public who can volunteer as much, or as little, time as they can.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The new Love Bradford 2025 logo being sported at Valley ParadeThe new Love Bradford 2025 logo being sported at Valley Parade (Image: Newsquest, Mike Simmonds)

Volunteers will receive full support and training, Bradford 2025 said, with applications opening from April 10.

The first cohort of volunteers will be supporting Bradford Council’s festival programme this year in addition to Bradford 2025’s own events.

New Bradford 2025 delivery vans

There is also more backing announced from Bradford-based supermarket giant Morrisons and Bradford City.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Morrisons - now a major partner - will be making deliveries to people’s homes in a dedicated City of Culture delivery van.

A new partnership with Bradford City AFC has also been announced. 

Building on the football club’s support throughout the bid stage, ‘The Bantams’ will be proudly displaying the Bradford 2025 name on its kits and the logo across tickets, social media, the stadium ‘big screen’.

The logo will also appear on the team coach, which travels the length and breadth of the country and reaches thousands of fans each year.