Bradford Culture Company, the charitable organisation behind Bradford 2025, has announced a new chair and seven new members joining its board of trustees.

The new trustees bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from the public, private and voluntary sectors to the executive team governing the strategic direction, policies and planning of the district’s game-changing UK City of Culture 2025 programme.

Kersten England, the former Chief Executive of Bradford Council, has been appointed chair, having served as a trustee throughout the city’s successful bid campaign which secured the coveted UK City of Culture title. Kersten, whose career includes senior roles in voluntary and community organisations, higher education and central government, recently retired from more than 30 years in local government. She will lead the board throughout the development and delivery of the district’s City of Culture programme.

Her remit includes ensuring the board’s strategic vision and objectives are met to create a legacy for the district as well as acting as a champion and ambassador for Bradford, and supporting Executive Director, Dan Bates and Creative Director, Shanaz Gulzar.

Also joining the board of trustees

Phil Batty, OBE – Chief Commercial Officer of NEWSUBSTANCE & SKYMAGIC
Phil brings experience of the UK City of Culture programme having been appointed as Director of Public Engagement for Hull 2017. Phil will be the Chair of the Bradford 2025 Programme and Engagement Sub Committee.

Sasha Bhat – Priority Director for Healthy Minds and Deputy Director of integration and transformation at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership
Sasha has codesigned, implemented and developed mental health services across the district. He also a member of the Bradford 2025 Programme and Engagement Sub Committee.

Carol Dewhurst – OBE, CEO of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust
Carol will also direct and support the Bradford 2025 Engagement team, creating opportunities for young people across the district as part of UK City of Culture.

Alex Hudson – Journalist who has been executive editor of Newsweek, deputy editor of Metro and long-time producer and reporter at BBC News.
Alex has nearly two decades of experience in journalism and technology, developing newsrooms across the world. He is also chair of the Bradford 2025 Audience and Digital Sub Committee.

Ruth Ibegbuna – UK social entrepreneur
Ruth is the founder of multiple social justice organisations, championing the rights of working-class young people. Ruth is also member of the Bradford 2025 Programme and Engagement Sub Committee.

Debbie Jukes – General Counsel of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (ESI)
Debbie, who is Treasurer of ReadEasy Leeds, a charity that focuses on adult literacy, is also a member of the Bradford 2025 Finance, Risk and Sustainability Sub-Committee and the Governance and People Sub Committee.

Armoghan Mohammed – Regional Chair for PwC
Armoghan is current Chair of Trustees of The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Having grown up in Yorkshire, he is keen to ensure that the huge variety of culture and talent that the North has to offer is showcased during Bradford 2025.

The new board members will join existing trustees

Adeeba Malik CBE – Deputy chief executive of the QED Foundation
Born in Bradford to immigrant parents and previous to joining QED, she was a teacher in Hull and Bradford. In addition to her role at QED, she has held numerous ministerial and non-ministerial roles on various boards in Bradford, Yorkshire, and nationally.  

Kamran Rashid – Founder and CEO of Impact Hub Bradford CIC
Through his work, Kamran is directly involved in local communities in Bradford and has been on the Bradford 2025 journey since it began 2018. Kamran wants Bradford residents to have renewed confidence in the district and everything it has to offer.  

Mary Dowson – Director and Co-Founder of Bradford Community Broadcasting
Mary has over 30  years of broadcasting experience,  and is committed to using engagement with community radio as a vehicle for positive social change.   

Mel Pickup – Chief Executive Officer of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Mel is also the chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Council at Bradford Teaching Hospitals. Her work focusses on strengthening the connection between health, the arts and culture in Bradford so future generations can benefit from improved wellbeing.  

Sabbiyah Pervez – Senior Investigative Reporter at BBC Look North
Through her work with disadvantaged communities across Yorkshire, Sabbiyah is committed to capturing the narratives of Bradford communities, empowering people to share their stories across the BBC locally and nationally. 

Stuart McKinnon-Evans – Non-Executive Director at University of Bradford and Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit Committee at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
Stuart is a finance professional with international management consulting experience who has had a long-running professional career at Board level and in Executive-level leadership roles in central government, local government and higher education.

Image: Word on the Street by Oli Bentley (Split) and Adam Greasley (Oakfold Design). Photo: David Lindsay.