Zimbabwean choir in Bradford festival

A Zimbabwean choir, Ukrainian dancers and a Yorkshire brass band were among the attractions at the event, which ran throughout the weekend.

The entertainment centred on the Rawson Market, but there were also events in White Abbey Road and Centenary Square.  

The festival was designed to build support for a plan to create a World Mile of specialist shops linking the thriving Asian boutiques in White Abbey Road to the markets and retail core in Bradford city centre.

And regeneration chiefs say they are delighted with the initial response to the World Mile concept, not least among existing business bosses.

Janzeb Mohammad, manager of Suits Me, in White Abbey Road, said: “The World Mile is a very good idea because it would improve everything in this area.”

Nick Ackroyd, World Mile project manager, said: “The idea of the festival is to start to build support for the World Mile project. We have got a lot of events, dancing and singing being put on by people from the Bradford district itself.

“It’s great to be part of a project that is involving the Bradford communities, showcasing what they can do in terms of song and dance.”

One of the performers was Natalka Demtschuk, 18, of Thornton, Bradford. She said: “We are doing traditional Ukrainian dancing at the World Mile Festival. I have been doing this type of dancing since I was five years old, so we started from a young age.”

The World Mile Festival was timed to fit in with Bradford Music Week and the Bite the Mango festival. The event, held at the National Media Museum, involved screenings of films by black and Asian filmmakers.

Meanwhile, major celebrations took place at Peel Park Community Centre, in Otley Road, Bradford, as a five-day event to celebrate Durga Puja and Diwali continued through Saturday and Sunday. The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor John Godward, was the special guest at the event, which was organised by the Bradford Bengali Hindu Cultural Society.

The event was attended by people from right across the UK.