Sir David Wootton

Bradford’s bid for UK City of Culture has been given a major boost with the announcement that former Lord Mayor of London Sir David Wootton is supporting its bid to become UK City of Culture in 2025.

The Bradford-born lawyer and politician was the Lord Mayor of London 2011-12 but, having never forgotten his Yorkshire roots, is now actively supporting his home city’s exciting bid to win the significant contest that would help put the District on the map as a cultural destination.

Sir David has a long affinity with his childhood city, growing up there and studying at Bradford Grammar School before studying Classics and Law at the University of Cambridge. His academic prowess was followed by a stellar career in law and politics, achieving national and international recognition on both fronts. He has held and continues to hold influential chair, board and advisory roles with some of the UK’s leading business, sports, arts and charitable organisations. Sir David is a Governor of Bradford Grammar School, Chairman of Leeds-based Northern Ballet and a member of the Bradford Textile Society.

He said: “I am thrilled to be taking on this role with the Bradford 2025 team which has been working tirelessly to secure support for its bid to become the UK City of Culture in four years’ time. I have had the pleasure of watching Bradford’s cultural sector mature over recent years and become a leading light in the district’s regeneration ambitions.

“I think it is absolutely right that Bradford puts culture at the heart of its future aspirations; I am very proud to be part of this bid and it is a big team effort. Many of us want to see Bradford achieve its full potential and rally around a shared goal that will bring so many long-term benefits for the city.”

The Bradford 2025 bid team has been further strengthened by Mick Chandsoor who joined recently as Head of Partnerships, a pivotal role in attracting sponsors and stakeholders in preparation for the competition.

Once again, Mick has a long affinity with Bradford. Born in the city, he studied locally at both Bradford College and Bradford University School of Management. His career has also been Bradford-focused, working on a number of different Youth Initiatives for more than 14 years with Bradford Metropolitan District Council before moving over to its Education Team as Partnerships Officer.

Said Mick: “I am extremely lucky to be joining at such an exciting time and I’m very much looking forward to working with Sir David as part of the bid team. Not only will it help to put Bradford on the map culturally, it will also leave an amazing legacy for the city and district to enjoy afterwards.

“We need to have strong partnerships from the outset with businesses supporting the bid. There are many rewards to being involved at this early stage and I will be actively promoting the benefits to both businesses and the communities as we all have a role to play in bringing this title back to Bradford.”

Richard Shaw, Bid Director of Bradford 2025, said: “With Sir David and Mick joining we are supercharging the bid team with a wealth of business acumen, expertise and passion that we know will unlock new and exciting partnerships for the bid.

He added: “The benefits of a City of Culture designation can’t be underestimated. The title brings with it considerable long-term economic and social benefits including new employment opportunities, inward investment, new skills development, and a renewed sense of local confidence. It will also help build a greater cultural capacity and new resources and help overcome many of the outdated perceptions of Bradford district both nationally and internationally.”

Businesses and organisations can get involved and help to support Bradford 2025 in a variety of ways including sponsorship and partnership packages.