Group Alfa shows support for UK City of Culture 2025 bid by illuminating landmark Bradford building

Wardley House. Picture by Karol Wysznski

A stunning illumination on the side of Bradford city centre’s largest building, Wardley House, has been created to shine a light on Bradford’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid and mark a major private sector investor joining the campaign as a corporate partner.

The installation features huge LED panels running the length of the building which depict the Bradford 2025 logo alongside a winter scene featuring some of the district’s iconic landmarks including Salts Mill and City Hall.

It was commissioned by Firas Al Fadhili, the Chairman of property investment company Alfa House which owns and manages the building which houses Bradford’s famous Ice Arena as well as luxury student accommodation and the National Science and Media Museum archives. Part of parent company Group Alfa – the business is the latest Founding Partner to join the district’s UK City of Culture 2025 campaign.

Firas, who has a background in finance, previously worked for Deloitte as a chartered accountant before joining the telecom industry in a senior management role, working across Europe, Africa and Asia and now owns and manages a number of major developments across Yorkshire.

He said: “We wanted to create something really striking to raise the profile of the campaign in a very visual way on this building which has a prominent position in the city. We designed the artwork to feature well-known landmarks from across the district as I think it’s important to make the point that the bid will impact every part of the district.

I think so often when people think of Bradford, they only think of the city centre – when it’s the communities everywhere from Shipley and Keighley to Ilkley and Bingley, that make its offering so diverse. In fact, from the roof of the building we have an amazing view across the district which really brings home its incredible scale and beauty.

“I have plans for further investments in Bradford, including creating a rooftop restaurant at Wardley House to really make the most of the view, as I believe the city has huge potential. The district deserves to be appreciated and celebrated, and the UK City of Culture title would enable us to do just that.”

Yaseen Mohammed, owner of Bradford-based development and regeneration consultancy Y Property Ltd, who works with Alfa House and is also a major supporter of the Bradford 2025 bid, said: “There’s no doubt that the City of Culture title would have a huge economic impact on the district, but I think it’s also important to highlight that there has been a real shift in recent years of entrepreneurs like Firas seeing its potential and making long-term financial investments here.

This, alongside other major capital developments like Bradford Live, One City Park and the new market are further proof that the tide is turning in Bradford. Culture is acting as a driver for investment and the campaign to win City of Culture could elevate this to a whole new level.”

Shanaz Gulzar, chair of Bradford 2025, said: “We welcome Group Alfa as a Founding Partner. The incredible support shown by the private sector in the district continues to go from strength to strength and is instrumental in helping us create a winning campaign. We’d like to thank all the new partners we’ve welcomed on board this year and look forward to working with them to continue to champion Bradford as we develop our bid ready to submit early next year.”

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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