Bradford team in China to boost relations with world’s second largest economy

REPRESENTATIVES from Bradford Council and University of Bradford and are in China this week seeking to build stronger relationships in film production, education and tourism.

Mark Garratt, Xu Hongwei, Steve Hartley

The Bradford team is part of a wider delegation from Leeds City Region visiting the city of Qingdao aiming to accelerate investment relationships with the second largest economy in the world.

Bradford representatives will meet with their counterparts from the West Coast New Area of Qingdao and sign a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, creative and innovation industries, technology, culture and education.


Bradford UNESCO City of Film has established close links with Qingdao and helped the city to attain its status as China’s first UNESCO City of Film in 2017. And the University of Bradford has been working closely with the Qingdao University of Science and Technology to develop a jointly taught degree in animation for students starting in September 2019. This will involve academics from the University of Bradford to teach part of the course in Qingdao.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Healthy People and Place Portfolio Holder on Bradford Council, said: “Building on the strong links already established by Bradford UNESCO City of Film in recent years, we hope the delegation from the Leeds City Region develops valuable future collaborations.”

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs at the University of Bradford and board member of Bradford UNESCO City of Film said: “I am absolutely delighted to visit Qingdao for the first time to see first-hand how we will be developing a strategic relationship between the cities of Qingdao and Bradford.

“I am particularly delighted with the partnership between Bradford UNESCO City of Film and Qingdao UNESCO City of Film and the two universities.”

Steve Hartley, Strategic Director Place, Bradford Council, said: “The scale and ambition of Qingdao creates fantastic opportunities to form collaborative ventures building on our existing film links but also in tourism, education and manufacturing.”