A CITY of Culture roadshow will tour the district this spring to gather people’s ideas and input for Bradford’s 2025 bid.

A public consultation will take place from late spring to early summer, at town halls, community centres, colleges and other local venues, and will then be taken into schools.

Bid director Richard Shaw said the aim is for the people and organisations of Bradford district to shape the campaign for the UK City of Culture 2025 title.

The competition is run by the Department of Culture Media and Sport. Bradford will compete against other cities and areas including Lancashire, Medway, Southampton and Tees Valley. Luton was in the running but has now pulled out. Yorkshire-born Mr Shaw said Bradford’s first bid will be submitted in April or May, 2021, followed by a second bid. A shortlist will be announced in the summer of 2021 and an independent panel of judges chaired by television producer and screenwriter Phil Redmond will decide who gets the title.

Bradford Council has pledged £400,000 towards the bid which, if successful, is expected to bring significant social and economic benefits to the district.

He said: “This isn’t about rewarding a city for good cultural practice. It’s about growth, potential and regeneration. If any city needs that boost in confidence, it is this one. A big part of bidding for this title is what it does for confidence. Bradford tends to hide its light under a bushel. Now is the time to get past the lazy stereotypes and write a new story.”

Mr Shaw, whose 30-year career spans performing arts, theatre, dance, film, broadcasting, public engagement and marketing added: “It’s all too easy to see this as an urban city centre project - it isn’t. It will be programmed district wide and we want people to share the vision and join the debate.

“I’m excited to be working on a bold, distinctive, genuinely inclusive bid. We need to capture voices across the district to find themes and stories about Bradford, its people and its place in the UK, to make a compelling case to the judges.”

People attending arts and cultural events in the district are urged to post about their experience on social media, tagging in @Bradford2025 with the hashtag #Bradford2025.