Bradford (i/ˈbrædfərd/) lies at the heart of the City of Bradford, a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, in Northern England. It is situated in the foothills of the Pennines, 8.6 miles (14 km) west of Leeds, and 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897. Following local government reform in 1974, city status was bestowed upon the wider metropolitan borough.
Bradford has a population of 293,717, making it the fourteenth-most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. Bradford forms part of the West Yorkshire Urban Area conurbation which in 2001 had a population of 1.5 million and is part of the Leeds-Bradford Larger Urban Zone (LUZ), the third largest in the UK after London and Manchester, with an estimated population in the 2004 Urban Audit of 2.4 million.
Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Bradford rose to prominence during the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture, particularly wool. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the earliest industrialised settlements, rapidly becoming the "wool capital of the world". The area's access to a supply of coal, iron ore and soft water facilitated the growth of Bradford's manufacturing base, which, as textile manufacture grew, led to an explosion in population and was a stimulus to civic investment; Bradford has fine Victorian architecture including the grand Italianate City Hall.
The textile sector in Bradford fell into decline from the mid-20th century. Since this time, Bradford has emerged as a tourist destination, becoming the first UNESCO City of Film with attractions such as the National Media Museum, Bradford City Park, the Alhambra theatre and Cartwright Hall. However, Bradford has faced similar challenges to the rest of the post-industrial area of Northern England, including deindustrialisation, social unrest and economic deprivation.
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Famous quotes containing the word bradford:
“I feel all dead inside. Im backed up in a dark corner and I dont know whos hitting me!”
—Jay Dratler, U.S. screenwriter, Bernard Schoenfeld, and Henry Hathaway. Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens)