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Bradford unveils thrilling vision for UK City of Culture 2025, with Zayn Malik as global ambassador

Tuesday 19 March marked a seismic shift in Bradford’s cultural landscape as the city ignited the countdown to its transformative year as the UK City of Culture in 2025. Bursting with energy, a diverse crowd gathered eagerly to witness a cascade of announcements that promise to redefine Bradford on a global scale.

In a momentous declaration, Bradford proudly introduced its native son, the internationally renowned singer-songwriter Zayn Malik, as the beacon of Bradford 2025. Hailing from the vibrant streets of East Bowling, Malik embodies Bradford’s spirit, serving as a testament to its boundless talent and cultural richness. His commitment to the city, woven deep into his roots, promises an electrifying year of celebration and collaboration, as he joins forces with the people of Bradford to showcase their home to the world.

Zayn Malik proudly endorsing the new Bradford City of Culture branded beanie.

Zayn Malik, Bradford 2025 Ambassador, enthused, “Bradford is and always will be home to me. It’s a very special place and I’m happy to see it being recognised as the UK City of Culture for 2025. There are some exciting projects I am taking part in throughout the year that I can’t wait to share with you. I’ve travelled all over the world but my roots and family remain in Bradford. Now we can celebrate this great city and the people who live and work here with the rest of the world.

But the excitement didn’t stop there. Bradford teased the audience with a sneak peek into the exhilarating events planned for 2024, offering a tantalising taste of what’s to come. From Osman Yousefzada’s mesmerising art exhibition at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery to the enchanting spectacle of Les Girafes parading through Bradford’s streets, the city is gearing up to captivate minds and hearts alike.

In an innovative endeavour, Bradford 2025 unveiled its striking new brand, crafted by a Leeds agency Rabbithole, aiming to capture the very essence of Bradford’s character and charm. This emblem, emblazoned with the ‘Love Bradford 2025’ logo, is more than just a symbol—it’s a rallying cry, inviting all to embrace and celebrate the city’s indomitable spirit.

Furthermore, Bradford’s partnership with Morrisons and Bradford City AFC signals a collective commitment to propel Bradford onto the global stage. From special delivery vans adorned with the Bradford 2025 insignia to the proud display of the city’s name on football kits, the city’s partners are poised to amplify its cultural resonance far and wide.

Exciting times: The countdown for UK City of Culture 2025 begins. Image: Karol Wyszynski

But perhaps the most exhilarating announcement of all is the invitation for all to be part of Bradford’s historic journey – let’s hope that rings true as the opportunity to bring people together and unite communities in celebration of City of Culture 2025 is now. If we can’t bring people together with City of Culture 2025, then it will be a hugely missed opportunity. Organisers have plans for a Volunteer Programme set to engage thousands, welcoming all to play a role in shaping a year that promises to redefine cultural boundaries.

Daniel Bates, Executive Director of Bradford 2025, declared: “Together, we have exciting plans for ways in which we can reach thousands of people across the district and nationally to create further excitement and anticipation for what will be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

“Our people powered the winning bid and through our Volunteer Programme we’re inviting them to play a part in delivering what we hope will be a transformational year for all of us. Along the way we’re inviting everyone, from artists to businesses, from schools to community groups, to help us bring to life a year of culture that could only happen here.

As the countdown to 2025 begins, Bradford stands poised on the precipice of greatness, ready to unveil a cultural renaissance that will resonate for years to come. With every heartbeat, every step, the city marches forward, fuelled by a shared vision of unity, creativity, and boundless possibility. Brace yourselves, as Bradford is extending its arms wide, on the brink of something truly extraordinary.

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