Emily Brontë’s bicentenary will feature in the district’s contribution to the Great Exhibition of the North. The Brontë Parsonage Museum is planning four days of linked activities in July to tie in with Emily Brontë’s birthday weekend. Brontë Society staff are currently working on the weekend as part of the July-December part of this year’s programme of events marking Emily’s 200th anniversary year.
The Great Exhibition of the North – which will run in several regions of Northern England – will also draw in Bradford Literature Festival, Bradford Festival, Bradford Science Festival and the city’s Big Party weekend. Bradford Council was shortlisted to host the Great Exhibition but lost out to Newcastle-Gateshead.
Bradford went on to work with Newcastle-Gateshead to plan a programme of complementary and connected activity is due to run between June 22 and September 8. The Bradford programme is supported by £50,000 of Leeds City Region pool funding, which is raised through the business rates. Buildings and other spaces around Bradford will be transformed into venues for activities showcasing the district’s cultural creativity.
Art, design, innovation and playfulness are the central themes of the Great Exhibition and the aim is to support creative/cultural industries, celebrate creativity, raise the district’s confidence and aspiration. Organisers also hope to inspire future generations and encourage Bradfordians to get involved with the Great Exhibition
The business rates pool enables councils in the Leeds City Region to retain and invest the proceeds of growth in business rates. It has supported investments with a value of more than £11 million since it was created in 2014. Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said that joining forces in such a way with other councils in the Leeds City Region meant it could re-invest in cultural activities such as the Great Exhibition of the North.