BRADFORD - Bradford has won the competition to be named the UK’s City of Culture for 2025.

The decision was announced on The One Show on BBC One by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries. Bradford will follow Coventry, the current holder of the title, and those behind the city’s bid believe it will generate £700m and create 3,000 jobs. County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham had all been shortlisted alongside Bradford. Shanaz Gulzar who led the Bradford bid described the win as a “huge opportunity”. “To celebrate our ex­traordinary cultural heritage and for our young, ethnically diverse population, who have been so involved in shaping our bid to become leaders and changemakers and begin a new chapter in our story.” The artist said for too long the city had been overlooked and underestimated. “It’s now our time to shine.” Bradford’s council leader Su­san Hinchcliffe said the win would bring “so many opportunities” and the area had started “to come to life as never before”. “Being UK City of Culture brings with it so many opportunities for people not only in terms of creativity and culture, but also for employment, attracting inward invest­ment, boosting the local economy and opening up opportunities for young people to enhance their skills,” she added. The landmark year is set to deliver more than 1,000 new performances and events, including 365 artist commissions, a series of major arts festivals as well as national and interna­tional collaborations. West Yorkshire’s Mayor Tracy Brabin said she was delighted Bradford had been chosen. “No city deserves this more,” she said. “As one of the youngest and most diverse places in the UK, Bradford will benefit so much from this plat­form to highlight everything it has to offer.”

She said the year would be a fitting showcase for the “incredible cultural and artistic” talent in the city. Crowds in Bradford’s City Park watched the announcement live and reacted with jubila­tion, and the city council tweeted: “OMG we’ve only gone and done it.” The winner was approved by Ms Dorries based on independent advice from a panel of experts led by TV writer-producer Sir Phil Redmond. She said Bradford was a “worthy winner”. “Art and culture should be accessible to everyone and this prestigious title will help Brad­ford deliver unforgettable events for communi­ties on their doorstep. “There was stiff competi­tion and I thank County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough for their excellent bids.” Southampton bid director Claire Whitaker said she was proud of the “passion and support of the city” despite losing out to Bradford. Neal Thompson, co-founder of Focus Wales Festival and a key partner in Wrexham’s bid, said the story was not over.