56 Facts About Bradford


The City of Bradford district had a population of 539,776, making it the 7th most populous district in England.

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Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Bradford grew in the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture, particularly wool.

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Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897.

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Bradford has emerged as a tourist destination, becoming the first UNESCO City of Film with attractions such as the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford City Park, the Alhambra theatre and Cartwright Hall.

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Bradford will become the UK City of Culture in 2025 having won the UK City of Culture designation on 31 May 2022.

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Bradford grew slowly over the next two-hundred years as the woollen trade gained in prominence.

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In 1801, Bradford was a rural market town of 6,393 people, where wool spinning and cloth weaving was carried out in local cottages and farms.

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Bradford was thus not much bigger than nearby Keighley and was significantly smaller than Halifax and Huddersfield.

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Coal output continued to expand, reaching a peak in 1868 when Bradford contributed a quarter of all the coal and iron produced in Yorkshire.

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Bradford had ample supplies of locally mined coal to provide the power that the industry needed.

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In 1854 Bradford Corporation bought the Bradford Water Company and embarked on a huge engineering programme to bring supplies of soft water from Airedale, Wharfedale and Nidderdale.

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However, because of the polluted environment and squalid conditions for his workers Salt left Bradford and transferred his business to Salts Mill in Saltaire in 1850, where in 1853 he began to build the workers' village which has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Bradford built the industrial Model village of Ripley Ville on a site in Broomfields, East Bowling close to the dye works.

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Unprecedented growth created problems with over 200 factory chimneys continually churning out black, sulphurous smoke, Bradford gained the reputation of being the most polluted town in England.

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Bradford Pals were three First World War Pals battalions of Kitchener's Army raised in the city.

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In June 2009 Bradford became the world's first UNESCO City of Film and became part of the Creative Cities Network since then.

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Bradford was part of the Yorkshire and the Humber European constituency, which elected six Members of the European Parliament using the D'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation, until the UK exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020.

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Bradford is not built on any substantial body of water but is situated at the junction of three valleys, one of them, that of the Bradford Beck which rises in moorland to the west, and is swelled by its tributaries, the Horton Beck, Westbrook, Bowling Beck and Eastbrook.

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Bradford Canal, built in 1774, linking the city to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal took its water from Bradford Beck and its tributaries.

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Bradford is within a green belt region that extends into the borough and wider surrounding counties.

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Bradford was established in 1880 by Joshua Kelley Waddilove to provide affordable credit to families in West Yorkshire.

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Bradford's oldest building is the cathedral, which for most of its life was a parish church.

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Bradford has a number of architecturally historic hotels that date back to the establishment of the two railway lines into the city centre, back in Victorian times.

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Bowling Park in East Bowling is the site of the annual Bradford Carnival celebrating local African and Caribbean culture.

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Bradford was first connected to the developing turnpike network in 1734, when the first Yorkshire turnpike was built between Manchester and Leeds via Halifax and the city.

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Ten Bradford trolleybuses are preserved at the Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum.

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Leeds and Bradford Railway opened Forster Square railway station on 1 July 1846 with a service via Shipley to Leeds.

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University of Bradford, which has over 10,000 students, received its Royal Charter in 1966, but traces its history to the 1860s when it was founded as the Bradford Schools of Weaving, Design and Building.

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The University of Bradford was ranked second in the UK for graduate employment by the Times Higher Education Supplement in 2005.

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Bradford College developed from the 19th-century technical college whose buildings it inherited.

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Bradford preached in Dewsbury and it was from there that Bradford was first evangelised.

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The most prominent Christian church in Bradford is Bradford Cathedral, originally the Parish Church of St Peter.

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The Diocese of Bradford was created from part of the Diocese of Ripon in 1919, and the church became a cathedral at that time.

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Patron saint of Bradford is Saint Blaise because of his patronage of wool combing, and his statue features on the Wool Exchange in the centre of the city.

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Bradford is home to the LIFE Church UK, a large nonconforming Church, that has around 3,000 members.

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In 1881 Russian Jews made their home in Bradford, having fled their homeland, and founded an orthodox synagogue.

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In June 2009 Bradford was designated the world's first UNESCO City of Film for its links to the production and distribution of films, its media and film museum and its "cinematographic legacy".

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Bradford has developed a relationship with Bollywood, hosting the International Indian Film Festival awards in 2007.

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The Bradford Playhouse is a privately run venue with a medium-sized proscenium theatre and a small studio.

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The University of Bradford has a cinema run by the Students' Union, operating from the university's Great Hall.

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Nightlife in Bradford has traditionally centred on Manor Row and Manningham Lane.

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Bradford was one of the first areas of the UK to get a local commercial radio station Pennine Radio in September 1975.

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Bradford held the first mela in Europe in September 1988 and it is presently held in Bradford City Park.

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Bradford is home to the acclaimed National Science and Media Museum which celebrates cinema and movies, and is the most visited museum outside London.

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Bradford 1 Gallery is a city centre art gallery opened in October 2007 in a new building in Centenary Square.

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Bradford is the home town of rock bands New Model Army, Anti System, Smokie, Southern Death Cult, The Cult, The Scene, Redwire, Chantel McGregor, One Minute Silence, Scars on 45, Terrorvision, My Dying Bride and hip hop group Fun-Da-Mental.

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Since the 1980s, Bradford has proved influential within the UK's punk rock scene, primarily because of the 1 in 12 Club, a music venue and anarchist workers' cooperative and members' club.

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In 2013 Bradford was again crowned "Curry Capital of Britain" after seeing off other strong contenders such as Glasgow and Wolverhampton.

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Bradford scored highly not just for the quality of food and service offered by each of the restaurants, but for food hygiene, a deep understanding of the curry restaurant sector and its success in collectively raising funds for food charity The Curry Tree, which seeks to alleviate the plight of the poor in South East Asia.

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The city is home to a number of rugby union clubs—Bradford Salem are based in the Heaton area and Wibsey RFC can be found to the south of the city centre.

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Bradford Dragons are the city's basketball team, competing in the second tier English Basketball League Division 1.

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Bradford is the focus of one of the UK's largest ever birth cohort studies, known as Born in Bradford.

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Bradford has been the scene of some high-profile crimes such as the shooting of Bradford PC Sharon Beshenivsky while responding to a burglary in the city.

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Social reformer who campaigned against child labour, Richard Oastler, is commemorated by a statue in Northgate and the Oastler Shopping Centre located close to the Kirkgate Shopping Centre W E Forster, was MP for Bradford and, commemorated by statue, is the namesake of Forster Square.

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Bradford was the focus of a 2012 Channel 4 documentary, Make Bradford British, which examined the level of integration between the city's Christian and Muslim communities.

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Bradford is twinned with a number of places around the world:.

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