Bradford’s love of cars and car culture is legendary. And now it’s hoped a brand new campaign, Fuelling Futures, could inspire and help the district’s young people to turn their automotive passion into a career in motorsports.

The Leap, Bradford’s Creative People and Places programme, has teamed up with Bradford College and Bradford Council, for a project supported by Mission 44, a charitable organisation founded by Sir Lewis Hamilton.

Sir Lewis Hamilton Mission 44 is focused on building a more inclusive education system, supporting progression into STEM and motorsport careers, and empowering young people to be changemakers.

Earlier this July, at Centenary Square and City Hall, an exciting day of free hands-on activity for year 9 and 10 pupils from Bradford and Keighley’s schools took place.

Teenagers were treated to a whole host of car-themed activities, and spoke to people who shared their passion and zeal for all things automotive.

The main activity on the day was radio controlled cars, with young people encouraged to get hands-on experience driving and testing the fun vehicles, and taking a closer look at the fundamentals of race engineering and off-roading.

The day also promoted interest, skills and learning in the motorsport and car industries, with focus on other STEM related careers, and how Bradford College can support young people’s ambitions through its apprenticeship schemes.

Sabir Musaji, Fuelling Futures project lead at The Leap, said: “The Fuelling Futures campaign brings to the Bradford district a cool and fun way of celebrating our unique car culture, whilst getting young people inspired and thinking about STEM and careers in motorsports.

“That’s why this unique partnership with Bradford College Apprenticeships and Mission 44 is so exciting, because I believe we can convert that passion and enthusiasm into career pathways that many young people of the Bradford district might not have thought were possible for them.

“Ultimately, we want this new partnership and this day to inspire a whole new generation of talent from Bradford into motorsports and STEM careers. Who knows, maybe Bradford could end up producing the next Formula One World Champion , or the next championship winning car!”

Kelly McCallister, Head of Apprenticeships at Bradford College, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Mission 44 on this project. We have recognised a lack of participation and representation from ethnic minority apprentices and females in male-dominated industries such as engineering and motorsports over recent years. 

“Having the backing of such a prestigious organisation will really help us shine a light on the opportunities available.”

Sir Lewis Hamilton meets a group of students from Fuelling Futures

As part of the Fuelling Futures campaign, one group of young people got the chance to travel to Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix – and to meet Sir Lewis Hamilton himself. They toured the paddock and museum, and took part in STEM and radio car activities.

About Mission 44

Mission 44 was founded by Sir Lewis Hamilton to build a fairer, more inclusive future in which every young person can thrive. The foundation supports bold organisations, leaders and ideas to reimagine the future and transform the lives of young people from underserved communities through grant-making, research and advocacy. Mission 44 is focused on building a more inclusive education system, opening doors to careers within STEM, motorsport, and the creative industries, and empowering young people to become an influential force for change. It continues the work and commitment of the Ignite Partnership, founded by Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team to increase diversity and inclusion within motorsport.

Mission 44’s name is a reference to Lewis’s racing car number – and a reminder that it’s possible to succeed no matter what your background.