Bradford Council is pleased to announce the successful recipients of this year’s substantial grants for arts, culture, and heritage initiatives.

After reviewing 19 project proposals, the panel has approved seven outstanding applications, amounting to a total of £74,000. These new grants complement the already extensive array of programmes that now encompass 17 council wards throughout the district.

The shortlisting panel expressed excitement over the diverse range of proposals in this recent round of major grants. This year, the Council’s Culture team eagerly anticipates involving even more communities in participating and immersing themselves in cultural experiences across the district.

The following projects have received support in this latest round of grants:

Bradford Opera Festival is in the process of creating the inaugural ‘Bradford Opera Festival,’ featuring ‘The Barber of Seville,’ a reimagining of Rossini’s classic by Ian McMillan tailored for Bradford. This production will involve the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra and a diverse cast, as well as two pop-up operas by emerging artists who will engage with new audiences, particularly among the communities and young people in the district.

Displace Yourself Theatre is working on a project leading to a theatre production titled ‘A World Without Death.’ This dynamic travelling show, set on an HGV truck, delves into the themes of life, death, and everything in between. Based on the Norwegian Folk Tale ‘The Boy Who Tried to Cheat Death,’ this production combines performance, gig, and rebellion, featuring some of England and Bradford’s most exciting artists. The project will kick off in February 2024 and span six months, engaging with communities across the district and internationally in the run-up to Bradford 2025.

Freedom Studios is embarking on a project called ‘Bradford Voice,’ with the aim of reimagining theatre and new writing in the Bradford district. Building on the legacy of amplifying South Asian, ethnically diverse, working-class, and young voices.

Castle in The Sky Projects is developing ‘OUT OUT,’ a responsive drag and cabaret project in collaboration with LGBTTQAI+ artists, providing support and a development programme. As part of this project, there will be a four-day residency and a year-round residence programme for artists based in West Yorkshire. Additionally, the project will facilitate two new commissions, enabling the showcasing of live art spaces for performances and productions.

The Holding Time Project will collaborate with ‘WomenZone’ and ‘Singing Mamas’ to deliver a 10-week course of singing-for-wellbeing workshops tailored to the needs of new mothers. The project’s objective is to reduce social isolation and the symptoms of post-natal depression, while also enhancing mental well-being and encouraging breastfeeding, thereby mitigating health disparities in those who may be at greater risk of adverse health outcomes.

The Keighley Association for Women and Children’s Centre is running a 36-week project that will empower 50 South Asian women to explore the creative use of calligraphy in their culture and develop calligraphy skills, all while simultaneously breaking their isolation and adopting approaches that positively enhance mental wellbeing. This initiative is being conducted in collaboration with local calligraphy artists in Keighley, and participants will produce artwork for personal keepsakes and to adorn their new extension, scheduled for construction in 2024.

‘Fundraising For You’ is a project celebrating Black inventors, focusing on the ‘Real McCoy.’ The project aims to design and construct a mobile exhibition that captures a rich heritage. It will feature collections, including physical models and historical accounts, showcasing the achievements of Black inventors.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “As the district builds up towards our year as UK City of Culture in 2025 it’s incredible to see the growth and range of applications that are coming forward to deliver, unique cultural and heritage activities. The applications we received for these grants really shows the diversity of the district’s arts, culture and heritage, and the passion of those leading these creative and innovative projects.

“By working with communities, the projects will enable opportunities for the continued growth in the district’s cultural ecology to support new talent development, community engagement and promote health and wellbeing though the arts.

“We are committed to supporting access to culture and therefore I look forward to seeing the culture sector in the district continuing to thrive in the lead up our year as the UK City of Culture in 2025 and beyond.”

For further information on Bradford Council’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage Grants, please visit our website: