Why City of Culture will be a ‘game-changing…

Why City of Culture will be a ‘game-changing year’ for Bradford businesses

BRADFORD 2025 UK City of Culture is committed to showcasing the district’s diversity and celebrating its multi-cultural communities. This includes the district’s Asian community, which makes up more than 32per cent of its population.

YABA – the Yorkshire Asian Business Association – is an organisation dedicated to providing a voice for the business community on regional, national, and international level. Here its founder, SHARON JANDU, explains how and why she is championing the ambitions of this game-changing year:

In June we hosted a special Gala Dinner in partnership with Bradford 2025 which was attended by more than 300 delegates representing businesses of all sizes and sectors from the Asian business community.

It was an opportunity for the Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture team to demonstrate how the business community can get involved in its cultural and community initiatives, as well as the UK City of Culture program itself. There was an incredible buzz in the room – and I’m not surprised, this is an enormous opportunity for the district.

YABA has supported Bradford 2025 since its bid campaign. We recognised the impact it could have on the local economy as well as its cultural landscape, not to mention a once-in-a-generation chance to nurture community cohesion and build the city’s reputation nationally and beyond.

I believe that the business community can play a major role – not just by offering financial support, but by recognising that this title brings significant prospects for economic development including investment opportunities for local businesses. Bradford’s vibrant, multicultural identity is one of its greatest strengths; we are excited to have the chance to tell the stories of the diverse cultures, traditions, and contributions of Asian communities across the district. Engagement with the Asian business sector will ensure that Bradford’s rich tapestry is presented to the world, enhancing its attractiveness as a culturally diverse and inclusive destination for tourists, talent, and international business.

Our involvement as an official Bradford 2025 Champion means we can help mobilise the Asian business community, encouraging active participation in cultural and community activities that contribute to the city’s vibrancy and appeal.

The year-long programme of cultural events, festivals, and celebrations is set to bring both local and global audiences to the West Yorkshire region, significantly enhancing the area’s allure as a destination for tourists and investors alike.

As well as a direct economic impact stemming from increased visitor numbers, the UK City of Culture status often leads to improved public infrastructure and urban redevelopment – as we’re already seeing here in Bradford – which will create a more attractive business and investment climate. The initiatives and events surrounding Bradford 2025 will create unique opportunities for networking and collaborations across different sectors including cultural organisations, local businesses, and international partners. The involvement of the Asian business community opens doors to new partnerships, fostering innovation and creative ventures that could have enduring benefits for the city.

And it’s not just about 2025 – we know that that Bradford 2025 has ambitions to create lasting change that benefits future generations. By getting behind the district’s cultural ambitions, YABA is contributing to building a legacy of prosperity, resilience, and cultural vibrancy that will benefit the community for years to come.

We also look forward to working together with Bradford 2025 on evaluating its impact, both during and after the event, as it’s crucial to ensure that the initiatives and developments catalysed by the UK City of Culture status continue to benefit Bradford way beyond this game-changing year.

* If you are an Asian business and would like to know more about opportunities to support or get involved with Bradford 2025 email Sharon@yaba.uk.com

Businesses from any community can email matthew.dakin@bradford2025.co.uk