FUNDING has been awarded to a series of festivals across the district – including in the Keighley area – as part of the run up to City of Culture 2025.

Thirteen organisations have received support from Bradford Council's Festival Fund.

They include the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth, for Words on the Street.

The event – on the weekend of September 23 and 24 – will include street art, poetry, craft activities and pop-up performances.

And the annual Keighley Arts and Film Festival has also been given backing.

This year's event, spearheaded by arts charity Keighley Creative, takes place from October 6 to 8.

The 2022 festival was hailed by organisers as a huge success.

Hundreds of people from across the district and further afield converged on the town.

More than 40 activities were held, at a range of venues, over three days.

Highlights included a lantern parade at Cliffe Castle Park, a performance of Sufi music by the renowned Qaiser Mahmood Qawwali Group, a peace meal at Keighley Shared Church and sell-out subterranean tours at the Royal Arcade.

Plus there was stand-up comedy, music and production workshops and spoken word performances.

The latest council funding programme forms part of a ten-year cultural strategy and aims to help festivals grow this year and next, developing the arts, culture and heritage activities within them.

Other events and organisations to receive support include the Bradford Dragon Boat Festival, Shipley Summer Special, Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company/Edge Fest, Bradford South Asian Festival, Intercultured, Eid Festival, Tech Styles 8, Bradford Queer Film Festival, Holme Wood Christmas Festival, BOLD! and Windrush Generation.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s executive member for healthy people and places, says: "It’s a true delight to support these festivals as we lead up to our district being UK City of Culture in 2025.

"We have a wealth of festivals and other events that are already part of the district’s rich cultural heritage, so to have this new funding programme to enable them to broaden their offer is really exciting."

As part of the funding process, applications were invited from organisers of established festivals which wanted to increase the range of arts, culture and heritage featured in their events.

Applications went before an assessment team and panel of industry experts, who scored each against a set criteria.

A total of £85,000 was made available through the programme.

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