Bradford awarded £2m by Arts Council England

to celebrate the creativity of its people

The Leap

Bradford has won major new investment from Arts Council England to become one of its new Creative People and Places (CPP) locations.

Bradford’s successful bid has been led by the landmark Born in Bradford (BiB) project as part of a community-focussed consortium committed to making a step change in arts and cultural opportunity, involvement and participation across the district.

Bradford’s Creative People and Places programme is called ‘THE LEAP’ and over the next four years aims to generate 100,000 new attendances at new arts and cultural events.

“One of the really interesting findings from BiB over the last decade is how important arts and culture are to our wellbeing and happiness. We are so excited to be leading this new programme that will unite the city and inspire a generation. THE LEAP began from an idea from two of our BiB artists-in-residence, Ian Beesley and Ian McMillan, which captures the energy of our children leaping into the future. Today’s news will spark a collective leap of joy across our wonderful city and strengthens our bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.”

by Professor John Wright, Director of Bradford Institute for Health Research which oversees BiB and is part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

THE LEAP is a 10-year project. This £2m funding by Arts Council England will launch the project and fund the first four years of activity. The investment will benefit the whole district with activities for everyone to participate in and enjoy. Its core work will focus on some of the most disadvantaged areas of Bradford where opportunities to engage with arts and culture are few and current levels of participation are low. The project will begin in early 2020, starting in the wards of Manningham, Bradford Moor, Tong, City, Keighley West and Keighley Central, aiming to generate up to 100,000 new attendances at new arts and cultural events.

Bradford district has galvanised and united behind THE LEAP with more than 70 partners and affiliates already signed up including Bradford Council, the Business Improvement Districts in both Bradford and Keighley and the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Bradford’s Council’s Museums and Galleries and all its Arts Council England-supported national portfolio organisations have backed the project including the Bradford Literature Festival, Impressions Gallery and Kala Sangam. THE LEAP is also supported by community organisations such as Project 6, Build A Girl and BIASAN (Bradford Immigration and Asylum Seekers Network). High profile national cultural organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Halle Orchestra and the British Film Institute are also partners.

“Culture enables people to explore skills and talents they never knew they had. It also gives people confidence and shows Bradford district off to our best advantage. The low levels of engagement in arts and culture in some wards highlight the challenges in delivering high quality art that is relevant for a population that is younger and more diverse than any other eligible Creative People and Places areas. Born in Bradford and local arts and community organisations have put huge energy into this bid which will be a game-changer for Bradford and builds on our drive to become the UK’s City of Culture 2025.”

by Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council

Get involved With The Leap

We aim to begin programme activity early in 2020. Meanwhile we are seeking members of the public who may be interested to volunteer as changemakers for their communities. The changemakers will be at the heart of THE LEAP programme, steering the direction of the work, encouraging people to get involved and selecting and working with artists. Changemakers will be paid expenses and be offered training and the opportunity to experience a wide range of cultural activity.

“Creative People and Places funding is very special in that it engages members of public in shaping their own arts and cultural provision. It’s not about taking art and culture to people, it’s about encouraging and enabling people to celebrate the arts and culture in their communities and giving them amazing opportunities to work with professional artists from Bradford and beyond to make extraordinary things happen.”

by Julia Skelton, Executive Director of Mind the Gap theatre company, part of THE LEAP consortium

If you live, work or of take part in a community activity in Manningham, Bradford Moor, Tong, City, Keighley West or Keighley Central and want to find out more about The Leap or about becoming a changemaker yourself please contact us by email borninbradford@bthft.nhs.uk or by phone 01274 364474