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Episode 1

Bradford: City of Dreams Episode 1 of 2

Bradford was once one of the richest cities in Britain and it has always been a magnet for economic migrants. From the Irish rural poor who came to work in the mills in the 1800s, via German Jewish merchants who traded in cloth at the turn of the 19th century and on through the waves of Asian immigration in the second half of the 20th Century, people have come to Bradford to make their way in the world.

Since the 1960s, the mills, factories and exchanges have nearly all closed, and the once grand city is a shadow of its former self. But rising from the ashes of this industrial collapse there is a new breed of Bradfordians who, with a mix of Yorkshire grit, 21st-century nous and plenty of chutzpah are managing to fulfill their dreams.

32-year-old Nav blings up some of the hottest super-cars in the world - he started with a Vauxhall Nova in his parents back-yard, and now he's got Ferraris and Lamborghinis lining up for his genius styling makeovers. His mind is firmly fixed on expansion and he's developing his own brand of bodykits in his multi-racial workshop and he reckons these kits will take him global, but even in the white heat of creativity he still makes sure he takes a cake back home for Mother's Day.

Graham's a builder by trade and a communicator by nature - a few words of Urdu have helped him become the builder of choice for Bradford's Asian community and they don't seem to mind too much when he's called away to his second job as a grave-digger with a specialism in Muslim burials. Finally, Rajen represents a whole new world of international small business. With an Indian father and an English Mum, he's got an idea that makes the most of his multi-national upbringing, leaving his Mum in Bradford with his sisters, while he spends six months with his wife in her home town in Eastern India exploring demand there for UK goods, everything from high street clothing to Bradford's staple food.

Nav, Graham and Raj are three very different characters who are all showing that despite the difficulties of life in post-industrial Bradford, it is still a place full of opportunities.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 25 Jun 2013 01:20
BBC Two Northern Ireland only

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Credits

Role Contributor
ParticipantNaveed Khan
ParticipantNaveed Khan
ParticipantGraham Sawin
ParticipantGraham Sawin
ParticipantRajen Das
ParticipantRajen Das
Executive ProducerAndrew Palmer
Executive ProducerAndrew Palmer
Executive ProducerZam Baring
Executive ProducerZam Baring
Series ProducerJames Routh
Series ProducerJames Routh
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