The CEO of Morrisons is drawing on the Bradford-based supermarket’s history as part of City of Culture plans, it has been revealed. 

Rami Baitiéh left his role as Carrefour France’s chief executive in Paris for a new chapter in Bradford

Five months later, he told an audience at Bradford’s Valley Parade about his “pride” and plans ahead of 2025. 

It came after the supermarket chain was announced as a major partner with Bradford 2025.

As a raft of major announcements were shared, he told the crowd: “I remember before doing this I’d just come from Paris, very nice place, and people said, ‘Are you sure you’re leaving Paris to go to Bradford?’ I said yes, I’m sure. You can imagine how proud I am now telling them that Bradford is going to be the City of Culture. Congratulations to all of you.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Part of the audience at the Bradford 2025 programme launchPart of the audience at the Bradford 2025 programme launch (Image: Karol Wyszynski)

“I know that Ken Morrison, the person who founded Morrisons, worked 50 years at Morrisons, he wanted Morrisons to be from Bradford and stay in Bradford. He wanted the head office to be in Bradford. I’m sure if he was here he’d be very proud seeing his city being City of Culture 2025. It’s a pride for me as a representative of Morrisons, of Ken Morrison, and the 91,000 colleagues who work for Morrisons, it means a lot.”

Mr Baitiéh unveiled a number of plans to mark the special year of culture in supermarkets not just across the district, but the UK.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sir Ken Morrison with Princess Anne in 2002Sir Ken Morrison with Princess Anne in 2002

There will be a Bradford themed product line displayed in stores across the country. 

Shoppers will be able to discover products made by Bradford businesses - such as classic curry essentials. 

“That allows all the stores in the UK to discover and know more about the products from Bradford,” said the CEO. 

Morrisons’ leadership school will also introduce changes to who can apply for management positions from 2025.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Pictured left to right, Shanaz Gulzar, Dan Bates, Ryan Sparks, Rami Baitiéh and Tracy BrabinPictured left to right, Shanaz Gulzar, Dan Bates, Ryan Sparks, Rami Baitiéh and Tracy Brabin (Image: Karol Wyszynski)

He said: “Any cashier who wants to become a manager just needs to raise their hands and they follow studies at Morrisons leadership school. Now it’s not the manager who will dictate who will evolve, it’s the people themselves.”

One of the more visible signs of support for Bradford comes with four wheels. 

Specially designed delivery vans will be doing the rounds across the district - featuring the new branding for Bradford 2025. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The new Love Bradford 2025 logo being sported at the University of Bradford stadiumThe new Love Bradford 2025 logo being sported at the University of Bradford stadium (Image: Newsquest)

Bradford City AFC was also named as a major partner with 2025’s three-colour, heart shaped logo soon set to appear on kits. 

The Bantams’ will be proudly displaying the Bradford 2025 branding on tickets, social media, the stadium’s ‘big screen’, and even the team coach.

The football club’s CEO Ryan Sparks said: “We are delighted to be working with Bradford 2025, celebrating a fantastic achievement for our city. It is a really huge success for Bradford to have obtained UK City of Culture status.

"The new brand looks fantastic and is one we are excited to be working with and implementing across several areas of the club over the coming years.”