LGBTQIA+ Impacts and Arts Instigator Summary

March 2024


Sid Akbar's Besharam [Shame-LESS]

Publication date: March 2024

Report author: Sonia Sandhu, LGBTQIA+ Arts Instigator​


This report provides a summary of the scope, range and impacts of work carried out to support the development of LGBTQIA+ arts and artists in Bradford since 2020. It particularly focuses on the work by Bradford Producing Hub (BPH) and Sonia Sandhu in the role of LGBTQIA+ Arts Instigator, however, it also references wider sector developments over the period.

BPH delivery period: March 2020 to March 2024.
LGBTQIA+ Arts Instigator role period: January 2023 - September 2023 (2 days per week) / September 2023 - March 2024 (3 days per month)

This report is written by Sonia Sandhu with the support of BPH Director, Lisa Mallaghan. The ‘I’ / first-person language in this report refers to Sonia.


To have a full picture of the findings we recommend you download the full report. Below is a summary of the findings:

LGBTQIA+ Arts Instigator Role:
With BPH’s support and resources, in the role of LGBTQIA+ Arts Instigator, I have been able to:

  • Provide one-to-one support, advice and signposting towards training and funding opportunities to
    individual artists/producers/creatives
  • Create spaces where artists have been able to connect to find peer support, new collaborators and
    strengthened social connections when going to see inspiring queer live work and talks together
  • Develop commissioning opportunities
  • Be in dialogue with local queer producers about their events and projects, and support through BPH via
    marketing, audience reach, and funding towards access costs
  • Advocate for a more joined-up approach between arts organisations and artists; putting forward queer artists for commission opportunities, suggesting arts organisations consult with BPH when programming queer work at their venues
  • Be on the steering group for Bradford Pride in 2023 and support with access costs via BPH
  • I estimate I have supported 130 LGBTQIA+ creatives through this work

BPH Investment:
Since Oct 2020, BPH has invested over £98,612 in LGBTQIA-specific development, including:

  • New Queers on the Block partnership
  • Make Work commissions – full productions and R&Ds
  • Instigator role
  • Empowered Programme
  • Make the Change event and commissions
  • Go & See trips

NB: This summary only includes the LGBTQIA+ specific work, and doesn’t include the LGBTQIA+ creatives that have generally been supported across our wider programmes of training and funding offered by BPH (inc. Spare Bob, Mentoring, Expanding Horizons, Transforming Spaces, Producer and Production Management training etc). Therefore, BPH’s overall investment in the LGBTQIA+ creative community is far greater still overall.


With the funds for the LGBTQIA+ Instigator role coming to an end, to maintain the growth of Bradford’s LGBTQIA+ arts scene and address more of the recommendations set out by the 2022 report, I would suggest resourcing towards:

  1. Investing in/supporting the development of a queer-led arts organisation which aims to produce events alongside artist development opportunities, and can continue support and sector growth for the long term
  2. Supporting the development of a safe space where LGBTQIA+ creatives can meet
  3. NPO and organisational development training for small queer-led companies so they can expand their scale and ambition
  4. Training on LGBTQIA+ inclusivity for arts organisations across Bradford
  5. Maintaining the partnership with Queer Arts North
  6. Continuing to strengthen and embed Proud:BD in the annual events calendar, including more multi-artform commissions that share our culture and heritage
  7. Revisit the ‘How can we support and develop LGBTQ+ Arts in the Bradford District?’ report (September 2022) with the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (CBMDC) and local arts organisations in Bradford
  8. Developing specific LGBTQIA+ Arts KPI within CBMDC's Culture is Our Plan strategy
  9. Respond to recommendations from Queer Arts North survey

Read more Resources

Needs Analysis

Joint Cultural Needs Assessment

In March 2020 BPH commissioned Anna Franks Consultancy to conduct a Joint Cultural Needs Assessment of the Bradford district.

Year 3 Evaluation Report

“There is a magic about Bradford you rarely find in other places and dreams have room to flourish here.” Creativity Council member
Needs Analysis

Then and Now: A reflection on Bradford’s Joint Cultural Needs Assessment

An update of reflections and considerations on the original JCNA commissioned in March 2020.

Latest news and events

View our latest news and events

Skip to content