It really was cheers all round at Sovereign, with the news that Bradford has been named City of Culture for 2025. This is a huge achievement for our city and follows months of hard work from the team behind the bid. We chose to be an Official Partner of the bid as we believe it has the potential to truly transform lives in Bradford – a district at the heart of Sovereign’s heritage having been founded as The Hospital Fund of Bradford nearly 150 years ago. Despite stiff competition, winning is a major milestone for the city in terms of funding and positive impact on both local people and the economy.
It’s estimated that being named City of Culture will generate £700m in terms of investment into Bradford, and create a possible 3,000 job opportunities.1 According to Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe, “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”.
Over the course of 2025, Bradford will stage more than 1,000 new performances and events, including 365 artist commissions, a series of major arts festivals as well as numerous national and international collaborations. The City of Culture events will be themed to reflect the unique heritage and character of the city, celebrating its people, diverse cultures and traditions, as well as its future potential.
As well as being hugely enjoyable and a major boost for Bradford, the role of arts and culture in improving health and wellbeing has been highlighted by organisers as an important focus, particularly as the city bounces back after the Covid-19 pandemic. Evidence shows that access to arts and culture can help people feel part of their community, improve mental wellbeing, support the treatment of serious illnesses such as cancer and help people become more active.2
To explore this more, the City of Culture work will include a first-of-its-kind study using medical research to measure the benefits arts and culture can have on the health and wellbeing of local people. This will be done as part of the Born In Bradford project, which has been tracking the lives of 13,500 babies and their families for more than a decade, looking at how issues such as poverty and pollution have affected the health of the city’s children. Using the same expertise, the 10 year study will be used to assess the impact and benefits of things like culture and heritage on our collective health and wellbeing.
Sovereign’s Chief Executive, Russ Piper, says: “One aspect of the bid we were particularly excited about is the heavy focus on the positive transformative impact that arts and culture can have on health and wellbeing. As a business whose purpose has always been to support the health of local people, it was clear we had to be involved. Being City of Culture will create new opportunities for young people in and around the district, who have played a significant role in shaping the bid. As the bid team has said, this is now Bradford’s time, and we are thrilled to be a part of that.”
For more info about Bradford’s City of Culture win, check out: About – Bradford 2025. As a business, Sovereign Health Care looks forward to having an active role in this exciting time for Bradford, so watch this space!