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Illuminate festival - celebrating Yorkshire's culture in five cities

  • Date: 17 October 2008
  • Area: North

Over the next year, the five cities of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York will benefit from, Illuminate, an ambitious year-long festival of culture. Illuminate is supported by an investment of £1.75 million of lottery money through the Urban Cultural Programme, a partnership between the Millennium Commission and Arts Council England.

The Urban Cultural Programme builds on the European Capital of Culture 2008 bids, and recognises the contribution that cultural activity makes to regeneration, community cohesion and civic pride.

Illuminate continues the momentum created by Bradford’s 2008 campaign, and the resulting recognition that culture and creativity are vital to the successful future of our region’s cities. Local cultural talent will be celebrated and encouraged, as will creativity in young people.

Illuminate will include a series of exhibitions, commissions and performances, including festivals and events celebrating David Hockney, Delius and The Radical Brontes. Illuminate ’s programme highlights that contemporary artists are thriving in Yorkshire cities – demonstrated by exciting new commissions and performances.

Illuminate was launched in Bradford on 14 October 2005, and will continue for twelve months. It will end in Light Night on 7 October 2006, when each of the cities opens its galleries, museums and cultural centres through the night in the first such event of its kind in the UK.

Keith Jeffrey, Director of Illuminate says: ‘Yorkshire's cities offer a stimulating destination, steeped in culture. We know from Bradford's experience in bidding for Capital of Culture that to place culture at the centre of regeneration planning leads to greater inward investment. Illuminate has contributed to capital developments in Bradford, Leeds and York and, whilst the development of new cultural facilities in the region is excellent, it is important that we also develop the audience for the future.

For more information on Illuminate and the full festival programme visit