A KEIGHLEY woman who is at the forefront of Bradford’s bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2025 said the team was “thrilled” the district’s submission had won through to the next stage.

Bradford is among eight places, from a 20-strong field, ‘longlisted’ to go forward in the competition.

Shanaz Gulzar, an artist and presenter from Keighley and chair of Bradford 2025, said: “We’re thrilled to have made the longlist. The competition is about to ramp-up and we are completely focused on creating the best possible bid – a winning bid – with and for the district.

“Bradford district is changing fast and we want to use our rich cultural heritage, storytellers, innovators and diverse young population to create a bid that is both recognisably Bradford and a new story written on our own terms.”

Her delight is shared by Bradford Council leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe.

She said: “Thousands of people across Bradford, Keighley, Ilkley, Shipley and Bingley have been involved in getting the district to this point.

“To be selected for the longlist of eight is a massive show of confidence in all that we’ve done together.”

Bradford 2025 bid director, Richard Shaw, said: “Our focus now is to ensure that everyone – from every corner of the district – joins us to make ours the most inclusive, imaginative bid.”

The winner will be announced next May.