CityFibre on board for Bradford’s bid for UK City of Culture 2025

Kim Johnston, CityFibre, and Shanaz Gulzar, Bradford 2025, visit Bowling Park Primary. Photo by Tim Smith

Bradford 2025 has announced CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, as the latest partner to support the district’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

The partnership will build on Bradford 2025’s ambition to create a year of culture that will open up new opportunities for people across the district, and central to this is enhancing digital skills for the district’s growing young population.

This ambition is shared by CityFibre, who are currently investing £75m in Bradford as part of a four-year full fibre network roll-out across the city.

Construction of the future-proof digital infrastructure began earlier this year with work due to complete by 2025, enabling almost every home across Bradford to access the fastest and most reliable broadband packages available from a growing list of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The company recently announced a collaboration with Bradford-based Impact Gamers – an award-winning community interest company that uses game making to engage young people and build digital skills – to launch ‘Level Up!’, a new six-week game-making course being piloted at Bowling Park Primary School in Bradford.

Kim Johnston, CityFibre’s city manager for Bradford, joined Shanaz Gulzar, Chair of Bradford 2025, on a visit to the school to take part in a coding workshop with Year 4 pupils aged 8-9 years old. They were also able to find out more about the course which encourages pupils to express their emotions whilst developing their digital literacy.

Kim Johnston said: “Our investment in Bradford goes beyond simply implementing the full fibre infrastructure. We want to ensure those who live and work here get the most from their internet connection and the endless possibilities full fibre opens up.

“At the heart of this is helping young people learn the skills they need to navigate and succeed in the digital world, and it was fantastic to visit the students and see, first-hand, their enthusiasm and creativity. The fact that our state-of-the-art digital infrastructure will be in place in time for the year of culture just adds to Bradford’s potential to host a world-class cultural celebration, and we’re thrilled to be supporting its bid.”

Shanaz said: “It’s fantastic to have CityFibre on board, their investment in Bradford will be absolutely game-changing for the city. Young people, like those we saw today at Bowling Park Primary, are growing up as digital natives for whom the internet and other modern information technologies penetrate every area of their lives.

“We want to nurture these skills and create more opportunities for young people in the city who could be future coders, programmers, digital artists and more.  The city of culture title is all about aspiration and empowerment, and this is exactly the impact we want to have on our young people by creating a cultural programme that showcases Bradford as a modern, digitally creative city.”

As part of its work to engage Bradford’s young population in the bidding process, earlier this year Bradford 2025 commissioned Impact Gamers to create ‘Bradford: The Game’, a PC and mobile game which allows young people to completely transform their local area into their ‘dream neighbourhood’ which can be played at www.bradford2025.co.uk/game/

Businesses and organisations of any size and any location can get involved and help to support Bradford 2025 in a variety of ways including sponsorship and partnership packages. To find out more email mick.chandsoor@bradford2025.co.uk.

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