Opportunities abound as Bradford continues positive momentum
15 Mar 2017
It’s a really exciting time for Bradford, a city with the right ingredients to provide investors, developers and occupiers with a recipe for success.
Bradford is diverse in more ways than one. From its people to its business community, this diversity has been harnessed over recent years to create a city of dynamism, opportunity and positivity. From a personal perspective, it’s an absolute privilege to be involved, alongside my local authority colleagues, in continuing to drive forward this positive momentum.
It's the perfect time to take an interest in Bradford city centre. We boast a number of well- established cultural assets of international acclaim, such as the National Media Museum, which is soon to be renamed the National Science and Media Museum with a new £1.8m interactive Wonderlab exhibit exploring the science behind light, sound and images.
Established jewels in the crown of Leeds City Region such as this and Cartwright Hall, home to The David Hockney Gallery from July, sit alongside exciting new schemes that have captured the public’s imagination.
It is important to recognise the scale of investment that has been made in Bradford over recent years in sectors including commerce, education and retail. Close to £1bn of public and private investment has enabled a new headquarters to be built for FTSE 100 company Provident Financial; the construction of the award-winning City Park, as well as other major public realm improvements; and The Broadway shopping centre to be opened. Furthermore, 25,000 sq ft of independent upmarket bars and eateries housed in Sunbridge Wells - an underground network of buildings that run underneath the main streets of the city centre – have recently opened to much positive acclaim.
Importantly, a real sense of entrepreneurialism is thriving in Bradford, with hundreds of newly established small independent businesses complementing these larger developments.
And there is more to come. Over the coming year Meyer Bergman will open The Light cinema and British Land will take its leisure complex forward. Network Rail continues to progress plans for the redevelopment of the city's two train stations while Bradford Council will make significant investment in further public realm improvements. Additionally, a number of existing holdings provide opportunities for further retail, office and residential developments.
We must also not forget the important partnership role the public and private sectors have in working together to drive forward development and value. For example, as an ambitious local authority Bradford Council has plans to bring forward a further business park in the city’s pioneering Baildon Business Park later this year that will offer around 160,000 sq ft of new space capable of being tailored to meet bespoke requirements.
All this means that as a city on the up, it is the perfect time for investors and occupiers to play their part in the next chapter of Bradford’s growth story and, importantly, do so while having the opportunity to maximise their return on investment over the medium to long term.