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Bradford is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire in the north of England. With a population of 300,000, to the east its built-up area runs into that of Leeds, while to the west are Pennine valleys, the "Bronte Country". It's notable for the many Victorian mills and other buildings from its industrial heyday, and for its high Asian population: some 27% of residents describe themselves as "Asian", their families mostly originating from Pakistan.
Bradford has been a wool-processing town for centuries, but remained small until the 19th century. It then burgeoned as the textile industry evolved from cottage weaving to mass production, related trades such as dyeing and fashion retail developed alongside, and the metal-bashing industries arrived. Bradford sucked in skills and labour: German-Jewish wool merchants and dye-makers, Irish flax and linen workers from County Mayo, and Yorkshire folk drifting away from an agricultural way of life. The population grew ten-fold, with great mill complexes and neo-Gothic public buildings springing up, and appalling squalour and pollution in its teeming streets. A few enlightened industrialists tried to better the conditions of their workforce, such as Titus Salt, but even he eventually despaired of Bradford and created a new model town at nearby Saltaire, now a UNESCO cultural site.
In the 20th century there was further immigration from East Europe around the war years, but the largest group of incomers were recruited from Pakistan: the traditional weavers of Mirpur had skills that Bradford sought. They arrived in the 1950s / 60s just in time to watch the textile trade go into long-term decline, unable to compete with cheap imports. The city became tatty, with disused factories crumbling into brownfield sites, and a blighted centre. It began to turn a corner from 1983, with what's now called the National Science and Media Museum creating a tourist destination; film tourism expanded, and there was other urban regeneration. There's still a lot to do.

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