Morrisons is playing its part in making Bradford 2025 a huge success: Rami Baitiéh

It has been almost five months since I had the privilege of becoming Chief Executive Officer of Morrisons. In this time, I have learned a lot about this great company but one thing that has stood out above all others is Morrisons’ special relationship with Bradford.

We are deeply rooted in this vibrant city and so proud of our history, which can be traced back to a Bradford market stall in 1899.

It is in this context that I am so pleased this week to reaffirm our commitment to Bradford as we are confirmed as a Major Partner of Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture.

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This follows our support for the Bid in its earliest stages and ensures we will continue to play a prominent role as the countdown begins.

L-R Daniel Bates, Shanaz Gulzar, from Bradford 2025 & Rami Baiteih CEO Morrisons. Picture: Karol WyszynskiL-R Daniel Bates, Shanaz Gulzar, from Bradford 2025 & Rami Baiteih CEO Morrisons. Picture: Karol Wyszynski
L-R Daniel Bates, Shanaz Gulzar, from Bradford 2025 & Rami Baiteih CEO Morrisons. Picture: Karol Wyszynski

This week has seen preparations for Bradford 2025 step up a gear.

Bradford-born singer-songwriter Zayn Malik, of One Direction fame, was confirmed as an ambassador for the UK City of Culture year.

Alongside more event announcements and partnerships, it’s all building towards a truly transformative year for the whole district.

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As a ‘Founding Partner’ ourselves, we flew the flag for the Bid (quite literally, with Bradford 2025 flags flying proudly from our head office and five Bradford stores).

We hosted events in store to engage and get our customers excited in the bid and the potential for Bradford.

As we approach 2025, we are excited about its promise for the district and the legacy it will create for the people who live and work here – many of whom are our colleagues and customers.

Morrisons will help to bring UK City of Culture to life across our Bradford stores and sites, we hope to stage events that reach new audiences, and will champion opportunities for our thousands of colleagues in the district to get involved.

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We know that we must also take advantage of this moment on a national scale – all eyes will be on Bradford next year and as a national retailer we are looking at how we can raise the profile of UK City of Culture to our customers further afield.

A new Morrisons delivery van hit the road this week displaying the Bradford 2025 branding and we have more plans in the pipeline to generate awareness.

Given our role as a food maker, we are exploring ways in which we can showcase the district’s diverse culinary heritage, including new products celebrating Bradford created at our Innovation Centre in the city, which officially opens this week.

Our diverse colleagues are our biggest asset, and I am already hearing from many who are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get involved.

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We hope to have an army of volunteers ready to assist with the preparations and serve as ambassadors.

Every one of our stores has a dedicated Community Champion to connect their stores with their surrounding community and they will play an important role in championing Bradford 2025.

This is a once in a generation opportunity for Bradford and we look forward to working with partners across the district to make it a resounding success.

Rami Baitiéh is Chief Executive Officer of Morrisons.

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