COEMO take the lead in celebrating Bradford’s cultural heritage

Trustees of the Consortia of Ethnic Minority Organisations are celebrating their success in securing a grant of £38,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to deliver an exciting local history project, which will explore the way that South Asian culture, business, religion and arts has shaped the city of Bradford since the end of World War II.

The project has a strong intergenerational focus and will recruit and train a group of young people as oral history interviewers. They will interview a wide range of older south Asian residents, from retired factory workers and community workers to successful politicians, business leaders and artists, documenting the themes of immigration, built heritage and community achievement. Assisted by an experienced photographer and designer, the young people will produce a high quality publication and exhibition display, to be launched at Bradford’s prestigious Impressions Gallery in this autumn.

COEMO’s Chief Executive, Dr Mohammed Salam, believes the project has huge potential to promote a positive image of Bradford: He said “The idea for this project came out of consultation with some of Bradford’s older South Asian residents, many of whom came to live and work in the city in the 1950s and 60s. Life in Bradford has changed dramatically since then. They have seen considerable changes in the city and it became clear that there is a danger that the stories and experiences of the older generation will be lost if they are not recorded. We are very excited about this project and very grateful for our project partners joining with us to make it happen.”

Dr Salam added, “Bradford is rightly famous as the ‘curry capital” of Britain but is too often perceived in a negative light, with the focus on racial and religious tensions and economic problems. In reality, migrant workers coming to the city since the 1950s have helped to create a rich and diverse cultural heritage and a thriving south Asian business economy, reflected in Bradford’s arts centres, Mosques, Gurdwaras, temples, shops and famous restaurants.  The Changing Bradford project will investigate and record the experiences of south Asian workers, businesses, and cultural and political leaders, celebrating how they have shaped key aspects of Bradford’s economic, social and cultural life”.

For further information about the project, contact Dr Mohammed Salam,   

Mob: 07539242393, Tel: 01274 48872, Email:

Background of COEMO:

The Consortia of Ethnic Minority Organisations (COEMO) was established in 2000 as an umbrella body for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) organisations and groups in Bradford and District. COEMO is a registered charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee. 

COEMO’s role is to support BME community groups and voluntary sector organisations, helping them to engage more effectively in mainstream activities and services in Bradford. Services include advice, training, information, advocacy and support networks.

COEMO’s strategic role is to help build an infrastructure for the black and ethnic minority voluntary sector and to help individuals, groups and communities in a changing and challenging environment.

COEMO aims to empower ethnic minority organisations to be more participative and more effective in mainstream activities in Bradford and beyond, and to influence the perceptions of funders towards ethnic minority led organisations.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 33,000 projects, allocating £5billion across the UK including £380m to 2,845 projects in Yorkshire & the Humber alone. Website:



Future Jobs Fund - Press release 9th February 2011

Dr. Mohammed Salam said “Coemo feels proud to help and support people on the Future Jobs Fund (FJF). COEMO has taken 10 Young people who have been given the opportunity to work within community organisations; to develop key skills such as team work, communication, confidence building, administrative and improving IT.  The project has given the FJF workers the opportunity to gain invaluable experience and has increased their confidence for a brighter future”.

FJF worker Nazish aged 20 said  “Being a part of the FJF programme has expanded my knowledge on the community and what it has to offer, I have learnt about the different BME organisations, the roles and responsibilities of management committee, and collaborative working. I personally feel I have improved my admin and IT skills and now feel more confident to take on new challenges”

FJF worker Avani Parekh “Working on FJF programme has helped me immensely.  I feel I can communicate better with people of all ages. I enjoy meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I have improved on my office skills and now feel confident more determined and dedicated in anything I do.

Project manager Mohammed Imran believes “it is an excellent initiative set up by the government to help young people gain valuable work skills and thinks similar projects are essential to help alleviate workless ness”.


Group photograph of FJF workers

COEMO Celebrates 10 Years

The Consortia of Ethnic Minority Organisations (COEMO) was started by volunteers in 200 following the closure of the Bradford Racial Equality Council.

Ten years on, the organisation, which is based at the Carlisle Business Centre in Manningham, works with hundreds of groups across West Yorkshire, including South Asian, African, Eastern European, African Carribbean and Filipino Communities are among those helped by the organisation, as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

On Tuesday 9th October 2010 COEMO celebrated its 10th Anniversary at the Carlisle Business centre and were opened by the Deputy Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lady Mayoress of Bradford.

The event was held to recognise the achievements and work of COEMO, its partners, staff and Chief Executive Dr. Mohammed Salam.

The Keynote guest speaker at the event was Arjumand Kazmi, Head of Policy at Voice4Change, who spoke of the changes that the voluntary sector is now facing.

The event also featured the presentation of the COEMO Community Awards 2010, which consisted of the following:


Manningham Mills Sports Association


Sangat Community Centre Keighley



Wahida Shaffi


Fareeda Mir


Ashok Kumar Nair


Jalal Uddin


Conor Ibrahiem


Abdul Hamid Ismail

The event was well received and COEMO would like to extend its thanks to all who have contributed over the past 10 years.