Bradford Breakthrough group in bid to get more restaurants in city centre (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Breakthrough group in bid to get more restaurants in city centre
A business-led initiative has been launched to improve Bradford’s restaurant and leisure offering to help regenerate the city centre.
The imminent starting date for the long-awaited £320 million Westfield retail development on Broadway – promised for the final quarter of 2013 – has spurred business leaders belonging to advocacy group Bradford Breakthrough to try to get more restaurant and leisure business operators to open up around the Westfield site.
The aim is to create a ‘leisure hub’ around the new retail centre in areas such as Market Street.
Bradford Breakthrough, which represents 31 senior leaders of major private sector and public sector organisations across the district, believes a better restaurant offer is vital to the regeneration of the city centre.
It has pulled together a group of business people, cultural leaders and Council officials to bring people interested in opening restaurants and other leisure-related businesses into contact with property agents trying to find new tenants for empty city centre units and in the new Westfield shopping centre.
The group includes Amjad Pervez of Seafresh, Gideon Seymour from arts organisation Fabric, Saleem Kader from Bombay Stores – co-founder of the Positive Bradford initiative which attracted thousands of visitors to the city last weekend – Dave West from Little Germany Action, along with Kevin Reed and Andy Taylor from Bradford Council. The group is chaired by Bradford Breakthrough chief executive Colin Philpott.
Mr Philpott said: “The expected start on the Westfield shopping centre is the reason we’re taking this initiative now. With significantly increased numbers of people expected in the city centre, now is the time to persuade people who run restaurants to invest in Bradford city centre.
“We need more restaurants so that Bradford can develop its reputation as a leisure destination. The group is concentrating its efforts at first on the streets including Market Street and Broadway which are close to the main Westfield entrance where there are several units currently empty which could be suitable for restaurants. These include units in the ground floor of Arndale House.”
The group has already brokered meetings between restaurateurs with premises elsewhere in the Bradford district and the Council’s Business Investment and Enterprise team to try to interest them in the city centre.
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