Bradford is chipping away at the grimy veneer stubbornly clinging to its image to rebrand itself next week as one of the greenest and most progressive places in Britain.
The Yorkshire city is publicising its thriving student life, growing arts scene and impressive Victorian architecture at a public event called Something to Shout About next Thursday.
Such a transformation would not only benefit business but could also persuade more students outside the region that Bradford is a cool place to study.
Bradford University pro-vice- chancellor Colin Mellors said. "The wel-being of the region is of the utmost importance to us. It is underperforming by EC standards and the university will be central to regeneration plans."
Bradford has undergone significant change since the 1960s when employment in the textile industries declined. Neighbouring Leeds has achieved commercial success and Bradford is trying to make certain it is a beneficiary of fast-growing businesses there.
Professor Mellors's idea is to rejuvenate the location with a common "strapline" to be adopted by all the region's major organisations.
"This is potentially a very powerful opportunity," Professor Mellors said. All that remains is to dream up the words to crystallise the key characteristics that will sell Yorkshire to the outside world.
Bradford University publicity director Sue Coffey, a founder member of the Bradford Public Relations Group that is running next week's event, said many of the positive aspects of the city never reached national consciousness because of the poor image of the city which persisted among London-based media.
"We know students are influenced by the media but many of their perceptions about the place are myths," she said. "Bradford is an exciting happening place and we need to 'talk it up' a lot more."