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Bradford named UK City of culture for 2025

Bradford locals were seen celebrating on the streets following the announcement

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BBC

Bradford has been crowned UK City of Culture 2025, securing millions of pounds of future funding and investment.

The West Yorkshire city, already celebrated for its diversity, faced tough competition from Durham, Southampton and Wrexham to win the award.

It has taken the title from Coventry, which managed to attract £172million worth of investment after being awarded City of Culture in December 2017 (though this was delayed until May 2021 thanks to the Covid pandemic).

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced the winner live on BBC One’s The One Show last night, after months of competition for the title.

Dorries said​ Bradford was a ‘worthy winner’ of the 2025 title, saying: “Art and culture should be accessible to everyone and this prestigious title will help Bradford deliver unforgettable events for communities on their doorstep.

“There was stiff competition and I thank County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough for their excellent bids.

“Coventry has shown us how powerful the UK city of culture title is at boosting investment, attracting visitors and leaving a lasting legacy for local people.”

Susan Hinchcliffe, the leader of Bradford Council, said the award will bring ‘so many opportunities’ to the city as well as a boost in employment.

She said: “We’re delighted that our district has been recognised in this way.

“Being UK City of Culture brings with it so many opportunities for people not only in terms of creativity and culture, but also for employment, attracting inward investment, boosting the local economy and opening up opportunities for young people to enhance their skills.

“The way that people from across the district have got behind the bid and the confidence people are now starting to show, the Bradford district has started to come to life like never before.”

Bradford will now receive £275,000 in initial seed funding to kick start the city’s development plans for 2025.

And, for the first time in the history of the UK City of Culture competition, each of the runners up will also receive a grant of £125,000 to go towards the best parts of their bids.

The benefits of winning the City of Culture title include attracting millions of pounds in additional investment to help boost regeneration, a year in the cultural spotlight with hundreds of events encouraging long-lasting participation in the arts, and growth for local tourism.

The previous winner Coventry was able to secure £172million in investment and funding for music concerts, public art displays, the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery, a new children’s play area in the centre of the city, the new Telegraph Hotel and improvements to public transport.

More than £150 million of public and private sector investment was invested into the 2013 winner Derry, while the 2017 winner Hull saw a 10% increase in visitor numbers during its tenure.

 

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Pub chain giving away FREE pints to anyone with one of these 50 surnames

Are you on the list?

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Greene King

England’s World Cup campaign got off to a flying start yesterday with a convincing 6-2 win over Iran.

Our Welsh neighbours – who are also in Group B with us – managed a draw with the USA, thanks to a late Gareth Bale penalty.

But goals aren’t the only thing to celebrate this World Cup, as a pub chain is giving away FREE pints to lucky fans who have one of 50 surnames.

Gerald England / Geograph

Greene King is dishing out a free drink to anyone who has the same surname as a player in either the England or Wales squads.

If you have one of the lucky last names, you can claim a pint on the house at any point during an England or Wales game.

All you have to do is head to a participating Greene King pub with your driving licence or passport to prove your name.

Anyone with one of these 50 surnames can claim the free pint: 

Hennessey
Ward
Davies
Cabango
Lockyer
Rodon
Mepham
Ampadu
Gunter
Williams
Roberts
Thomas
Allen
Smith
Levitt
Wilson
Morrell
Ramsey
Colwill
Bale
Moore
Harris
Johnson
James
Pickford
Pope
Ramsdale
Alexander-Arnold
Coady
Dier
Maguire
Shaw
Stones
Trippier
Walker
White
Bellingham
Gallagher
Henderson
Mount
Phillips
Rice
Foden
Grealish
Kane
Maddison
Rashford
Saka
Sterling
Wilson

All you need to do is head down to your nearest participating boozer and show the bar your photo ID during any England or Wales World Cup group stage game.

You can find the nearest pub to you taking part in the offer here.

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Will Ferrell appeals for spare room in North West to watch Eurovision

Got any room for Will?

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Netflix

Earlier this year it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be held in Liverpool instead of Kiev, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Following the news, all hotels and accommodation in the city quickly sold out – with many establishments dramatically increasing their prices in the process.

As such, finding somewhere to stay during the annual song contest has become nigh on impossible, even if you’re a Hollywood superstar like Will Ferrell. 

Will recently appealed for help in finding accommodation for next year’s Eurovision during an appearance on BBC Radio 2 to promote his new film Spirited.

The actor previously wrote and starred in the 2020 film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, playing Icelandic singer Lars Erickssong.

READ MORE: Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf returns to screens in new Asda Christmas advert

During the BBC interview, Zoe Ball mentioned how much she enjoyed the film, to which Will responded: “And it’s in Liverpool this year, isn’t it?”

After being asked if he wanted to go, he said: “You know my mother really wants me to take her to Eurovision, she’s dying to go and she’s always wanted to go to Liverpool.”

Will added: “But aren’t the hotels all booked now?”

After the comedian appealed for a spare room to stay in, Zoe said: “If anyone is willing to put up Will Ferrell and his mum in Liverpool or the Liverpool area during Eurovision.”

Will revealed his requirements: “We need a clean, tidy room. We’ll share a room – two bunk beds that’s all we need. I know we’re kidding but my mom would love that, she’d be thrilled.”

Eurovision 2023 will consist of two semi-finals on May 9th and 11th, before the final on May 13th.

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Artificial grass company ordered to remove ‘offensive’ billboard in Greater Manchester

Thoughts?

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Advertising Standards Authority

A billboard advertisement for a Greater Manchester artificial grass company was ordered to be taken down by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The advertising watchdog ruled that the ‘offensive’ billboard – located at a busy junction where Oldham Road meets the M60 in Hollinwood – ‘objectified and stereotyped women as sexual objects’.

The ASA investigated the poster from Oldham-based Great Grass MCR Ltd following complaints, finding that the ad was ‘irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence’.

Featuring text that read ‘Artificial Grarse Experts’, the billboard also used an image of a woman in just her pants, with additional text saying ‘Perfect 365 days a year…Get laid by the best’.

Advertising Standards Authority

The ASA said: “The complainants, who believed the ad objectified and sexualised women, challenged whether the ad was offensive, harmful and irresponsible.”

They continued: “We noted that the word ‘grass’ was spelt incorrectly to include the word ‘arse’. We considered that was likely to be understood by readers to be a reference to the model’s buttocks and had the effect of making that exposed part of her body the focus, thereby drawing attention to the ad.

“The ad also stated ‘Get laid by the best’. We considered ‘get laid’ would be understood by readers as a slang reference to sexual intercourse. We considered that text, together with the model’s pose and state of undress, was sexually suggestive and would be seen as presenting the model as a sexual object.

“We acknowledged that while sunbathing, people might recline on a lawn wearing revealing clothing. However, we considered that in the context of the ad, in particular the references to ‘arse’ and ‘get laid’, the model was portrayed as a sexual object, rather than someone who was sunbathing.

“For those reasons, we concluded that the ad objectified and stereotyped women as sexual objects, was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”

Google Maps

In response to the ruling, the ASA told Great Grass to make sure that any future advertising was ‘socially responsible’ so as to not cause widespread offence.

The ASA said: “Great Grass said it was noteworthy that there had only been three complaints when the ad had been seen by thousands of people. They therefore believed that most people were not offended by the ad, but found it amusing.

“They believed the complaints were generated by people on social media encouraging others who likely had not even seen the ad, to complain about it.

“Great Grass also said that to assume that the person featured in the ad was a woman was wrong and offensive to the transgender community.”

Google Maps

The company responded to the ASA ruling by saying that ‘Get laid by the best’ was a strapline it had used for many years.

Great Grass spoke to the Manchester Evening News, saying: “The ad was a bit of light-hearted fun and not intended to offend anyone. There have been a number of people posting the ad on social media with positive comments.

“We thought with all the problems going on in the world at the moment anything that can bring a smile is a welcome distraction. It is a very busy junction and the ad has been seen by thousands and thousands of people.

“To the three who found it offensive, we apologise. To the fifty odd thousand who found it amusing, sorry it’s got to go.”

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