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The City of Bradford ( ) is a local government district of West Yorkshire, Englandmarker with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. It is named after its largest settlement, Bradfordmarker, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Keighleymarker, Shipleymarker, Bingleymarker and Ilkleymarker. Bradford has a population of 497,400, making it the fourth-most populous metropolitan district and the sixth-most populous local authority district in the UK. It forms part of the West Yorkshire Urban Areamarker conurbation which in 2001 had a population of 1.5 million and the city is part of the Leeds-Bradford Larger Urban Zone (LUZ), the third largest in the UK after London and Manchester.

The city is situated on the edge of the Pennines, and is bounded to the east by the City of Leedsmarker, the south east by the Metropolitan Borough of Kirkleesmarker and the south west by the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdalemarker. The Pendlemarker borough of Lancashiremarker lies to the west, whilst the Craven and Harrogatemarker boroughs of North Yorkshire lie to the north west and north east of the city. Bradfordmarker, the urban core is the 11th largest settlement in England, and the contiguous urban area to the north which includes the towns of Shipleymarker and Bingleymarker is also heavily populated. The spa town of Ilkleymarker lies further north, whilst the town of Keighleymarker lies to the west. Roughly two thirds of the district is rural, with an environment varying from moorlands in the north and west, to valleys and floodplains formed by the river systems that flow throughout the district.

The City of Bradford has a large number of interesting and architecturally important buildings, mostly constructed from local stone, with 5,500 listed buildings and 57 conservation areas. The model village of Saltairemarker has also been listed as a World Heritage Site. Bradford rose to prominence during the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture, particularly wool. The area's access to a supply of coal, iron ore and soft water facilitated the growth of Bradford's manufacturing base, which, as textile manufacture grew, led to an explosion in population and was a stimulus to civic investment. However, Bradford has faced similar challenges to the rest of the post-industrial area of Northern England, including deindustrialisation, housing problems, social unrest and serious economic deprivation.

Since the 1950s Bradford has experienced significant levels of immigration, particularly from Pakistanmarker. Bradford has the second highest proportion of Muslims in England and Wales outside London. An estimated 101,967 people of South Asian origin reside in the city, representing around 20.5% of the city's population, with this figure projected to rise to 28% by 2011.


The current city boundaries date from 1 April 1974, when the county borough of Bradford was merged with the borough of Keighleymarker, the urban districts of Baildonmarker, Bingleymarker, Denholmemarker, Ilkleymarker, Shipleymarker and Silsdenmarker, along with the Queensburymarker parts of Queensbury and Shelfmarker urban district and the parishes of Addinghammarker, Kildwickmarker and Steeton with Eastburnmarker from Skipton Rural Districtmarker.


Places within the district (in addition to Bradfordmarker itself) include Addinghammarker, Baildonmarker, Bingleymarker, Burley-in-Wharfedalemarker, Cottingleymarker, Cullingworthmarker, Denholmemarker, Gilsteadmarker, Haworthmarker, Ilkleymarker, Keighleymarker, Manninghammarker, Menstonmarker, Oakworthmarker, Oxenhopemarker, Queensburymarker, Saltairemarker, Shipleymarker, Silsdenmarker, Steeton with Eastburnmarker, Thorntonmarker and Wilsdenmarker.

The northern and western parts of the district are largely rural, with areas of high moorland including the famous Ilkley Moormarker and Brontë Countrymarker.


Most of Bradfordmarker is still unparished, but there are parish and town councils for most of the outlying towns and villages in the District. From April 2004, the parishes in the city are:


Parliamentary constituencies

The residents of Bradford are represented in the British Parliamentmarker by Members of Parliament (MPs) for five separate parliamentary constituencies. Keighleymarker is represented by (Ann Cryer, Labour), Shipleymarker is represented by (Philip Davies, Conservative), the Bradford Northmarker constituency is represented by (Terry Rooney, Labour), Bradford West is represented by (Marsha Singh, Labour) and the Bradford Southmarker constituency is represented by (Gerry Sutcliffe, Labour).

The city played an important part in the early history of the Labour Party. A mural on the back of the Priestley Centre For The Arts (visible from Leeds Road) commemorates the centenary of the founding of the Independent Labour Party in 1893.

Bradford is within the Yorkshire and the Humber European constituency, which is represented by two Conservative, one Labour, one UKIP, one Liberal Democrat and one BNP MEPs. The voting figures for Bradford in the European Parliament election in June 2009 were: Conservative 24.7%, Labour 22.6%, UKIP 14.9%, Lib Dem 13.4%, BNP 9.4%, Green 8.8%.


In 1974, City Of Bradford Metropolitan District Council was created to administer the newly formed metropolitan borough. The county borough of Bradfordmarker was merged with the Borough of Keighleymarker, the Urban Districts of Baildonmarker, Bingleymarker, Cullingworthmarker, Denholmemarker, Ilkleymarker, Shipleymarker and Silsdenmarker, along with part of Queensbury and Shelfmarker Urban District and part of Skipton Rural Districtmarker by the Local Government Act 1972. The Council, which is based at Bradford City Hallmarker in Centenary Square, governs the whole metropolitan district.

The city is divided into 30 Electoral Wards, each ward electing three Councillors. Elections are held in May, where one third of the 90 seats (one for each ward) are contested and the successful candidate is elected for a period of four years.

Political party make-up of Bradford Council
   Party Seats Current Council (2009–10)
2008 2009
  Conservative 35 37                                                                                                    
  Labour 36 35                                                                                                    
  Lib Dems 14 13                                                                                                    
  Greens 3 3                                                                                                    
  BNP 2 2                                                                                                    

Electoral wards

The Metropolitan District is divided into 30 Electoral Wards, with each ward electing three Councillors.

Ward name Area (ha)/mi2 Population Population density (people per hectare) Ref.
Baildonmarker 12,067 14.33
Bingleymarker 13,675 11.01
Bingley Ruralmarker 15,142 4.79
Bolton and Undercliffemarker 15,445 47.38
Bowling and Barkerendmarker 17.917 94.3
Bradford Moormarker 17,497 73.52
Citymarker 18,485 39.80
Clayton and Fairweather Greenmarker 15,191 26.24
Cravenmarker 15,875 3.17
Eccleshillmarker 13.278 46.58
Great Hortonmarker 16,019 50.47
Heatonmarker 16,913 27.59
Idle and Thackleymarker 14,366 20.97
Ilkleymarker 13,828 7.25
Keighley Centralmarker 16,426 32.33
Keighley Eastmarker 15,000 6.4
Keighley Westmarker 16,281 17.33
Little Hortonmarker 16,431 53.17
Manninghammarker 17,522 48.94
Queensburymarker 17,573 18.54
Roydsmarker 15,266 43.99
Shipleymarker 13,822 23.19
Thornton and Allertonmarker 15,108 10.98
Tollermarker 18,951 70.24
Tongmarker 13,823 10.25
Wharfedalemarker 11,126 7.07
Wibseymarker 13,447 48.35
Windhill and Wrosemarker 15,244 34.03
Worth Valleymarker 15,546 2.6
Wykemarker 15,897 18.33

Coat of arms

The Coat of arms of Bradford is based on that of the former City and County Borough Council, with additions to indicate the merger of eleven Yorkshire councils. The boar's head, as in the former City's crest, refers to the legend of the boar of Cliffe Wood. This was a ferocious boar that terrorized the populace and caused much damage to land and property; so much so that the Lord of the Manor offered a reward for anyone brave enough to slay the boar and bring its head to the Manor House. The mural crown is a frequent symbol of local government, but here also suggests a well head. The stag is derived from the device of the Denholmemarker Urban District Council and the arms of the former Borough of Keighleymarker, but represents the District as a whole. The white angora goat is retained from the former arms, recalling that the wool of this animal was used in the local industries. The roses on the collars refer to the Yorkshire rose and the compartment resembles the area's hills and dales.


As of the 2001 UK census, the City of Bradford had a population of 467,455. Of the 180,246 households in Bradford, 36.5% were married couples living together, 28% were one-person households, 10.8% were lone parents and 8.4% were co-habiting couples, following a similar trend to the rest of England.The population density was 1,290 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,341/sq mi) and for every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. Of those aged 16–74, 24.5% had no academic qualifications, lower than the 28.9% in all of England. 11.8% of Bradford residents were born outside the United Kingdom, higher than the England average of 9.2%.

In 2006, it was estimated that 74.9% of the city's population was White (72.2% White British, 0.7% White Irish and 2.1% as Other White), 2.9% Mixed Race, 20.5% Asian or Asian British, 1.6% Black and 0.6% from other races. 16.8% of the population are of South Asian origin, representing the second highest proportion in England and Wales outside Londonmarker, in terms of both population (behind Birminghammarker) and percentage (behind Blackburn with Darwen). Nearly half of all Asians living in Yorkshire and the Humber live in Bradford, with one district, Frizinghall, having the highest concentration of Pakistanis in England and Wales, making up 73% of the local population. Accordingly, the city has a large Islamic population, with 16.08% of the population identifying themselves as Muslim in the 2001 census. 60.14% were Christians, 1.02% Sikhs, 0.95% Hindus and 13.3% were identified as having no religion. The percentage of Jews, Buddhists and those following other religions each amounted to fewer than 0.5% of the city's population.

The ONS Regional Trends report, published in June 2009, showed that most of the urban core and 41% of the district as a whole were among the most deprived in the country. Bradford has one of the highest unemployment rates in England, with the economic inactivity rates of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups standing at over 50% of the working age population.

The crime rate in Bradford is significantly higher than the national average. In July 2006, the think tank Reform calculated rates of crime for different offences, relating this to populations of major urban areas (defined as towns over 100,000 population). The study ranked Bradford as the second most dangerous city in England and Wales with 98.3 serious offences per 1,000 population, behind Nottinghammarker. The city was shown to have the highest level of gun violence in the country, and was amongst the top 5 for incidents of burglary, rape, assault and vehicle crime.


The economy of Bradford is worth around £7 billion, contributing around 8.4% of the region's output, and making the district the third largest after Leedsmarker and Sheffieldmarker in Yorkshire & Humber. Traditionally based on the wool and textile industries, manufacturing is still strong, accounting for around 1 in 5 jobs. The city’s service-sector economy accounts for 77% of the district's 195,000 jobs, with today's fastest-growing sectors including information technology, financial services, tourism and retail headquarters and distribution. The district is home to a number of large businesses with recognised brands operating on a national and international scale such as Morrisons, Pace Plc and Hallmark Cards. Three of the UK’s biggest financial institutions are based in Bradford: Yorkshire Building Society, Bradford & Bingley Building Societymarker and Provident Financial. It is also home to nationally outstanding cultural businesses, a strong group of new media companies, and a significant national institution in the National Media Museummarker. Tourism is worth over £400 million to the local economy, employing over 10,000 people.

The city’s working-age population has risen by 3.3% since 2000 — faster than any UK city outside London, whilst the population of the city itself is growing by twice the national average. Bradford has a younger age profile than the Yorkshire & Humber regional average and the national average, with the younger age groups forming a greater proportion of the population in comparison. Bradford has been named by research group OMIS as one of the top 6 cities in the UK equipped for future growth, whilst £1.5bn of construction work is transforming Bradford in a bid to attract further investment.

As of the 2001 UK census, Bradford had 326,774 residents aged 16 to 74. 2.5% of these people were students with jobs, 7.6% looking after home or family, 6.1% permanently sick or disabled and 4.5% economically inactive for other reasons. The City of Bradford has a lower economic activity rate than West Yorkshire, the regional average for Yorkshire and the Humber and the national average. Conversely Bradford has a higher economic inactivity rate than all these areas and also has a lower employment rate.


Education in the city is provided for by a number of schools and colleges. State schooling is managed by Bradford Local Education Authority. There are also a number of independent (private) schools, such as Bradford Grammar Schoolmarker and The Girls' Grammar School, Bradford. Bradford Collegemarker and the University of Bradfordmarker are the main further and higher education providers.


Public transport in Bradford is co-ordinated by Metro. Most train services are run by Northern Rail, with longer-distance routes served by National Express East Coast.

Shipley railway station is the hub of the district's railway network, which is served by four lines.The Wharfedale line connects Shipleymarker with Ilkleymarker, Ben Rhyddingmarker, Burley-in-Wharfedalemarker, Menstonmarker and Baildonmarker railway stations to the north, and Frizinghallmarker and Bradford Forster Squaremarker stations to the south. The Airedale line connects the stations at Steeton and Silsdenmarker, Keighleymarker, Crossflattsmarker, Bingleymarker, and Saltairemarker with Shipleymarker, continuing to either Frizinghallmarker and Bradford Forster Squaremarker or to Leedsmarker to the east of the district. Both Bradford Forster Squaremarker and nearby Bradford Interchangemarker stations are served by the Leeds-Bradford line routes. Bradford Interchangemarker, via the Caldervale line, also connects to stations to the south and west.

There are bus stations in Bradfordmarker, Ilkleymarker, Keighleymarker and Shipley. The majority of services are provided by First Bradford and Transdev Keighley & District.

The M606, a spur off the M62 motorway, connects the district with the national motorway network. The M606 was originally laid out to reach the centre of Bradford and beyond, but connects instead to the A6177 Bradford outer ring road, making the motorway one of the shortest in the country at less than three miles long. Another motorway was planned in the 1970s, envisaging a link between Bradford, the Aire valley in the north of the district and the M65 at Colne, roughly mirroring the existing A650 road. It has since been upgraded to dual carriageway along much of its length, bypassing the towns of Bingleymarker and Keighleymarker. The A658 road passes through a tunnel underneath the main Leeds-Bradford airportmarker runway as it heads north-east from Bradford to Knaresboroughmarker.

Leeds Bradford International Airportmarker itself is located in Yeadonmarker, about to the north-east of the city centre, and has both charter and scheduled flights to destinations within Europe plus Egyptmarker, Pakistanmarker, Turkeymarker and the USAmarker. There are connections to the rest of the world via London Heathrow Airportmarker, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airportmarker and Amsterdam Schiphol Airportmarker.

There are also navigable waterways that run through the district. The Leeds and Liverpool Canalmarker passes through numerous towns and villages in the borough, with the Grade I listed Five Rise Locksmarker at Bingleymarker generally considered to be one of the finestfeats of canal engineering in the country. There are also proposals to restore and re-open the Bradford Canal, which closed in 1922, as part of a wider regeneration of the city.

Twin towns

The City of Bradford, and the various towns and villages that make up the Metropolitan District, have Twin Town and Sister City Friendship Agreements with a number of communities throughout the world. Each was originally twinned with a place within the City of Bradford prior to its creation in 1974.

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Country Place County / District / Region / State Originally twinned with Date
Belgiummarker Verviersmarker
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Liègemarker Bradford 1970
Francemarker Coutancesmarker
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Manchemarker Ilkley 1969
Francemarker Eppevillemarker
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Sommemarker Wilsden 1982
Francemarker Poix-du-Nordmarker
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Nordmarker Keighley 1919
Francemarker Roubaixmarker
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Nordmarker Bradford 1969
Germanymarker Hammmarker
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North Rhine-Westphaliamarker Shipley 1976
Germanymarker Mönchengladbachmarker
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North Rhine-Westphaliamarker Bradford 1971
Irelandmarker Galwaymarker
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Connacht Bradford 1987
Macedoniamarker Skopjemarker
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Skopje Bradford 1963
Pakistanmarker Mirpurmarker
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Azad Kashmirmarker Bradford 1998
Perumarker Machu Picchu
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Cusco Haworth 2005
USAmarker Haworthmarker
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New Jerseymarker Haworth 2004
USAmarker Myrtle Beachmarker
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South Carolinamarker Keighley 1993

See also




External links

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