4.2. Bradford’s artists and producers

Bradford harbors abundant creative talent. The Bradford Producing Hub annually surveys local artists and producers, unveiling their endeavors and challenges.


Bradford Data Review: The Creative and Visitor Economy

Bradford’s artists and producers

Bradford is home to a wealth of creative talent. Bradford Producing Hub conducts an annual survey with artists and producers across the district, which provides key insights into who they are, the type of work they are doing and the barriers they face.

Who are they?

Artists and creatives in Bradford are most likely to be female (66%), aged between 25 and 39 (44%) and White (75%). They are likely to have caring responsibilities and nearly a quarter (24%)identify as disabled. There is a noticeable under-representation of artists and producers from Asian/Asian British communities compared to the Bradford population as a whole.


Female: 66%
Male: 30%
Non-binary: 4%

Caring responsibilities: 55%
No caring responsibilities: 45%

Identifies as disabled: 76%
Does not identify as disabled: 24%

Data comes from 219 responses to BPH's annual artist and producer survey between 2021 and 2023. Results may be biased by the demographics of those most likely to fill in surveys.

Age comparison

Bradford artists and producers
16-24: 5%
25-39: 44%
40-59: 41%
60-64: 5%
65+: 6%

Bradford population
16-24: 15%
25-39: 24%
40-59: 36%
60-64: 6%
65+: 26%


Bradford artists and producers
Asian/Asian British: 11.8%
Black/Black British: 4.2%
Mixed/multiple: 3.8%
Other: 4.7%
White: 75.5%

Bradford population
Asian/Asian British: 26.8%
Black/Black British: 1.8%
Mixed/multiple: 2.5%
Other: 1.5%
White: 76.5%

Their creative practice

Most of Bradford’s artists and creatives describe themselves as freelancers (55%)– and there are a significant number (23%) for whom their creative practice is “not my main job”. They work across many different disciplines-with the most popular being the Visual Arts (31%), Arts and Crafts (23%), Theatre, and Writing and Editing (both 22%). In terms of how long people have been practising, although 28% are in the first 5 years of their practice, there is a relatively even distribution across categories. Most do target “everyone” (62%) for their work as shown by the responses, there are many who make work which targets a range of more specific audiences.

What best describes your creative practice?

Freelancer: 55%
Sole trader: 8%
Not for profit organisation: 7%
Registered charity: 1%
Creative individual (not my main business) 23%
Other: 5%

What best describes your creative discipline?

Advertising and Marketing: 12%
Animation: 1%
Arts and Crafts: 23%
Broadcast Media (TV/Radio): 5%
Comedy: 4%
Computer Software: 1%
Dance: 15%
Entertainment and Leisure: 7%
Fashion: 3%
Film and Motion Pictures: 14%
Food & Beverage: 3%
Graphic Design: 8%
Illustration: 9%
Literature (incl. Libraries): 8%
Media Production: 4%
Museums/Heritage: 9%
Music 19%
Online Media: 3%
Outdoor Arts/Festivals: 9%
Photography: 7%
Producing: 14%
Production and Technical: 1%
Public Relations & Communications: 3%
Publishing: 1%
Theatre: 22%
Translation: 1%
Visual Art: 31%
Writing and Editing: 22%
Other: 11%

Years in the creative sector

0-5: 28%
6-10: 25%
11-20: 25%
20+: 22%

Barriers to being creative

61% of Bradford’s artists and producers report facing at least one form of personal barrier to their work, with the most common being mental health concerns (31%) and caring responsibilities (25%).

Do you have any personal barriers to work?

No personal barriers: 39%
Caring responsibilities: 25%
Mental health: 31%
Personal wellbeing: 14%
Physical health: 13%
Access needs: 12%
Other (financial/logistics): 7%

4.1. Creative and cultural industries

This topic covers the creative economy in Bradford and draws on a range of sources which can be found in Appendix 1 in the full report.

4.3. Visitor economy

Bradford’s cultural diversity fuels tourism, contributing £696m annually; poised for resilience post-pandemic, with City of Culture anticipation.

4.4. Gaps in the data

Current gaps in our knowledge about Bradford’s visitor and creative economy

4.5. Opportunities

In Bradford’s evolving creative landscape, arts organisations and artists wield significant potential to bridge existing gaps and fortify the city’s cultural economy.

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