Being a proud member of the Bradford community has been part of Sovereign Health Care’s DNA since we were founded in the city almost 150 years ago. As such, Sovereign is delighted to be an official Bid Partner in Bradford’s campaign to become UK City of Culture 2025.
One of eight new corporate partners announced in September 2021, Sovereign’s funding will help to promote Bradford’s cultural credentials as part of the Bradford 2025 bid campaign. Winning the title of UK City of Culture 2025 would be a significant boost for Bradford, putting the city on the map and attracting new investment to positively impact people and businesses across the district.
The UK City of Culture designation is given to a new city every four years by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). In July 2021, Bradford district was officially named as one of 20 UK cities bidding for the title, the highest number of entries in the competition’s history. In October 2021, Bradford was announced as one of eight cities to go through to the next round of the prestigious competition.
Being named City of Culture gives cities access to funding to improve their infrastructure and arts facilities, and sees title holders host a series of events celebrating local culture. The designation has helped previous winners including current title holder, Coventry, to attract new tourist markets, delivering a significant economic boost.
Sovereign Health Care’s Chief Executive, Russ Piper, says: “Bradford is a city with a rich and vibrant culture, which combines its proud history with the amazing diversity and multiculturalism that we see today. However, we are also a city with significant challenges; 30% of children in our district live in poverty – double the England average1 – and Bradford has the highest rate of people out of work in the Leeds City Region2.
“As a not-for-profit company, Sovereign invests a significant proportion of our turnover to support local communities every year and this is a campaign we simply had to be part of. Being named UK City of Culture would be a game changer for Bradford, helping to improve quality of life and opportunities for local people, create jobs, and bring diverse communities together. Support from businesses is an essential ingredient for a winning bid, with judges looking at local advocacy as a key criteria in their decision making.
“Our role as a Bid Partner allows Sovereign to directly support the Bradford 2025 team create the strongest possible bid which reflects both the cultural and business strengths of our city, demonstrating how we can work together to create positive change.”
Bradford district’s bid is backed by Bradford Metropolitan District Council with the University of Bradford as a strategic partner. The bid forms part of Culture is Our Plan, Bradford Council’s ten year cultural strategy for 2021 to 2031. Along with the ten year cultural strategy, there will also be a first-of-its-kind study that will use medical research to measure the benefits arts and culture can have on the health and wellbeing of the local population. The importance of culture to wellbeing has long been talked about; it is thought access to arts and culture can help people feel part of their community, improve their mental wellbeing and help people become more active. The ‘UK first’ study will be carried out by the Born in Bradford project and will help identify exactly how important culture is to peoples’ lives.