Afzal Kahn and Paul Morris hope to create site on land opposite Forster Square Retail Park

Automotive designer Afzal Kahn (right) has teamed up with property developer Paul Morris (left)

Automotive designer Afzal Kahn (right) has teamed up with property developer Paul Morris (left) Buy this photo

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

An entrepreneur has teamed up with a property developer to help business start-ups in Bradford.

Automotive designer Afzal Kahn said he wanted to give something back to the city by building an Enterprise Village using shipping containers.

He has joined forces with St James Securities, the Leeds-based property developer behind Forster Square Retail Park, and believes the project could be up and running by autumn.

The Enterprise Village would be across Valley Road from Forster Square Retail Park. Mr Kahn already owns the site and said he initially wanted 25 to 30 shipping containers to kickstart the project, with more to follow.

“It is exciting,” said Mr Kahn.

“I have achieved all the goals in my life, and I wish at the time I started that such a scheme existed. I want to give that opportunity back to Bradford.”

Mr Kahn, speaking from his A.Kahn Design headquarters on Canal Road, Bradford, insisted the project was solely for new business start-ups.

“It is open to any age – even if someone is 65 we will help them set up,” said Mr Kahn.

“We will help you manage the business. You will not be on your own, there’s no fear. There will be 25 to 30 new start-ups together.

“They don’t have to worry about long leases, and there will be very minimal cost to the shop-owners.”

Mr Kahn, who started out about 30 years ago with a grant from a business enterprise scheme, said there will be a strict list of criteria for prospective businesses.

He said of the site’s location: “This is one of the busiest retail parks in the country. It isn’t stuck in the middle of nowhere, and it is right next to a train station.”

The shipping containers will be fitted out with essentials such as electrics and alarms. A planning application will be submitted within the next two months and it is hoped to have the enterprise village up and running by the autumn.

Paul Morris, director at St James Securities, said: “I think it is a great idea. It is just such a good thing for the city.

“Lots of people have got businesses from home. Giving them a shop window and a base will help them “This is not our core thing but when Afzal Kahn told us about it, we wanted to back it.

“The whole idea of this is not to draw, or re-locate, or displace – whether that is market traders or people in shops.

“It is for people who do not have any premises whatsoever – people working out of bedrooms, garages or whatever.”

A spokesman for Bradford Council said: “Preliminary discussions have taken place with the developers about their proposals for this site. Once a planning application has been submitted the Council will fully advertise the details and invite public opinion.”

To register an interest in taking up one of the containers, or for more information, e-mail rebecca@kahndesign.com.

e-mail: rhys.thomas@telegraphandargus.co.uk

Comments (18)

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8:25am Thu 13 Feb 14

tabster says...

Makes no sense. Instead the council should review business rates & taxes on empty buildings in town centre and make them available to people who need a base. This will provide a base for young entrepreneurs and put to use empty buildings at the heart of the city center.
Makes no sense. Instead the council should review business rates & taxes on empty buildings in town centre and make them available to people who need a base. This will provide a base for young entrepreneurs and put to use empty buildings at the heart of the city center. tabster
  • Score: 13

8:45am Thu 13 Feb 14

Joedavid says...

There are empty buildings there so why not use those, seems an untidy bad looking thing to me.
Remember this area is where most of Bradford people shop and as replaced the city centre.
There are empty buildings there so why not use those, seems an untidy bad looking thing to me. Remember this area is where most of Bradford people shop and as replaced the city centre. Joedavid
  • Score: 14

8:58am Thu 13 Feb 14

northern pig says...

Shipping containers Yeah well that would be a welcome to bradford view from the railway line into Foter Square Station wouldnt it.
Shipping containers Yeah well that would be a welcome to bradford view from the railway line into Foter Square Station wouldnt it. northern pig
  • Score: 14

9:36am Thu 13 Feb 14

pcmanners says...

I'm sure Mr. Khan means well whilst Mr. Morris like any other greedy developer is looking for a quick buck.

However using shipping containers as commercial accommodation on a town centre site will just add to Bradford's run-down, third-world, appeal. I hope the Council ignore the pressures from the Community and turn down the planning application.
I'm sure Mr. Khan means well whilst Mr. Morris like any other greedy developer is looking for a quick buck. However using shipping containers as commercial accommodation on a town centre site will just add to Bradford's run-down, third-world, appeal. I hope the Council ignore the pressures from the Community and turn down the planning application. pcmanners
  • Score: 23

9:45am Thu 13 Feb 14

sorrow&anger says...

However well intentioned this is not a good idea. Bradford has to smarten up if it is to succeed. The Council has just woken up and announced that it intends to loosen planning applications to stop the blight of empty shops. This is sensible. Mr. Khan's workshops should go in these premises.
However well intentioned this is not a good idea. Bradford has to smarten up if it is to succeed. The Council has just woken up and announced that it intends to loosen planning applications to stop the blight of empty shops. This is sensible. Mr. Khan's workshops should go in these premises. sorrow&anger
  • Score: 20

9:55am Thu 13 Feb 14

Grumpygirl says...

Do the containers come with toilets?

Bradford is full of empty shops and offices. These should be turned into start-up accommodation first before blighting the city centre with a pile of rusty boxes.
Do the containers come with toilets? Bradford is full of empty shops and offices. These should be turned into start-up accommodation first before blighting the city centre with a pile of rusty boxes. Grumpygirl
  • Score: 19

9:55am Thu 13 Feb 14

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

Story on same page says 'council to fast track planning permission' to ease the blight of empty shops, then this.

It is more a case of BRADFORD COUNCIL EMPTY HEADS

Is there anyone in City Hall capable of joined up thinking?
Story on same page says 'council to fast track planning permission' to ease the blight of empty shops, then this. It is more a case of BRADFORD COUNCIL EMPTY HEADS Is there anyone in City Hall capable of joined up thinking? Prisoner Cell Block A
  • Score: 12

10:10am Thu 13 Feb 14

Albion. says...

Prisoner Cell Block A wrote:
Story on same page says 'council to fast track planning permission' to ease the blight of empty shops, then this.

It is more a case of BRADFORD COUNCIL EMPTY HEADS

Is there anyone in City Hall capable of joined up thinking?
The council is easing the way for bookies and bazaars.
These containers do sound a bit shanty-townish.
[quote][p][bold]Prisoner Cell Block A[/bold] wrote: Story on same page says 'council to fast track planning permission' to ease the blight of empty shops, then this. It is more a case of BRADFORD COUNCIL EMPTY HEADS Is there anyone in City Hall capable of joined up thinking?[/p][/quote]The council is easing the way for bookies and bazaars. These containers do sound a bit shanty-townish. Albion.
  • Score: 13

10:37am Thu 13 Feb 14

picklesc says...

Great idea!
People should get behind this. They are giving people a chance!
Well done Mr.Kahn, Sir you are an inspiration to all in Bradford, an international statesman - who has put the city on the map!
Great idea! People should get behind this. They are giving people a chance! Well done Mr.Kahn, Sir you are an inspiration to all in Bradford, an international statesman - who has put the city on the map! picklesc
  • Score: -23

10:43am Thu 13 Feb 14

BaildonGuy says...

Why can't the units go on the Council's Buck Lane site and join the other tin boxes?
Why can't the units go on the Council's Buck Lane site and join the other tin boxes? BaildonGuy
  • Score: 1

11:55am Thu 13 Feb 14

alive and awake says...

Just when I thought we would not see another crazy idea today, one pops up.
Just when I thought we would not see another crazy idea today, one pops up. alive and awake
  • Score: 11

12:04pm Thu 13 Feb 14

aje2010 says...

tabster wrote:
Makes no sense. Instead the council should review business rates & taxes on empty buildings in town centre and make them available to people who need a base. This will provide a base for young entrepreneurs and put to use empty buildings at the heart of the city center.
I think you are correct in stating that, BUT this is a private business man promoting something (yes something the council may\should be doing).

A very good idea. Having started my own business and struggled through just to survive (paying the high rent, rates etc, yes once again the council should have helped, more) I think this will encourage people to have a go without risking too much.

Its got me thinking all sorts. Feel all exited that we have the shopping centre, this, police are catching the drug dealers, the future looks bright(er).
[quote][p][bold]tabster[/bold] wrote: Makes no sense. Instead the council should review business rates & taxes on empty buildings in town centre and make them available to people who need a base. This will provide a base for young entrepreneurs and put to use empty buildings at the heart of the city center.[/p][/quote]I think you are correct in stating that, BUT this is a private business man promoting something (yes something the council may\should be doing). A very good idea. Having started my own business and struggled through just to survive (paying the high rent, rates etc, yes once again the council should have helped, more) I think this will encourage people to have a go without risking too much. Its got me thinking all sorts. Feel all exited that we have the shopping centre, this, police are catching the drug dealers, the future looks bright(er). aje2010
  • Score: -9

12:08pm Thu 13 Feb 14

aje2010 says...

northern pig wrote:
Shipping containers Yeah well that would be a welcome to bradford view from the railway line into Foter Square Station wouldnt it.
I recommend you watch George Clark's "Amazing Spaces". You'll be amazed what a shipping container can become.
[quote][p][bold]northern pig[/bold] wrote: Shipping containers Yeah well that would be a welcome to bradford view from the railway line into Foter Square Station wouldnt it.[/p][/quote]I recommend you watch George Clark's "Amazing Spaces". You'll be amazed what a shipping container can become. aje2010
  • Score: -2

12:45pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

picklesc wrote:
Great idea!
People should get behind this. They are giving people a chance!
Well done Mr.Kahn, Sir you are an inspiration to all in Bradford, an international statesman - who has put the city on the map!
Never heard of him and this is a crackpot idea.
[quote][p][bold]picklesc[/bold] wrote: Great idea! People should get behind this. They are giving people a chance! Well done Mr.Kahn, Sir you are an inspiration to all in Bradford, an international statesman - who has put the city on the map![/p][/quote]Never heard of him and this is a crackpot idea. Prisoner Cell Block A
  • Score: 8

12:48pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

Prisoner Cell Block A wrote:
picklesc wrote:
Great idea!
People should get behind this. They are giving people a chance!
Well done Mr.Kahn, Sir you are an inspiration to all in Bradford, an international statesman - who has put the city on the map!
Never heard of him and this is a crackpot idea.
Ahh, Project Khan, I have heard of him

Still a crackpot idea
[quote][p][bold]Prisoner Cell Block A[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]picklesc[/bold] wrote: Great idea! People should get behind this. They are giving people a chance! Well done Mr.Kahn, Sir you are an inspiration to all in Bradford, an international statesman - who has put the city on the map![/p][/quote]Never heard of him and this is a crackpot idea.[/p][/quote]Ahh, Project Khan, I have heard of him Still a crackpot idea Prisoner Cell Block A
  • Score: 7

2:27pm Thu 13 Feb 14

aje2010 says...

Grumpygirl wrote:
Do the containers come with toilets?

Bradford is full of empty shops and offices. These should be turned into start-up accommodation first before blighting the city centre with a pile of rusty boxes.
I keep seeing these comments. I'm sure if Afzal Kahn was in charge of the city he may have reduced the rates, reduce crime, increase productivity of council staff, maybe bring back manufacturing, maybe CARPETS!!!!, but now he can only do shipping containers.
Give the guy a break, he's a business man, most likely in it to make some money, maybe help some new starters along the way but unquestionably he is doing something good for Bradford.
Peace out
[quote][p][bold]Grumpygirl[/bold] wrote: Do the containers come with toilets? Bradford is full of empty shops and offices. These should be turned into start-up accommodation first before blighting the city centre with a pile of rusty boxes.[/p][/quote]I keep seeing these comments. I'm sure if Afzal Kahn was in charge of the city he may have reduced the rates, reduce crime, increase productivity of council staff, maybe bring back manufacturing, maybe CARPETS!!!!, but now he can only do shipping containers. Give the guy a break, he's a business man, most likely in it to make some money, maybe help some new starters along the way but unquestionably he is doing something good for Bradford. Peace out aje2010
  • Score: -6

2:35pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Avro says...

picklesc wrote:
Great idea!
People should get behind this. They are giving people a chance!
Well done Mr.Kahn, Sir you are an inspiration to all in Bradford, an international statesman - who has put the city on the map!
In what resepect, by chance that he owns the number plate F1 worth £1m or that he is the brother of businessman Khurshid Khan, who was jailed for three years following a a massive nationwide bank fraud, though Khurshid had no involvement in the management or running of any of the Afazl Kahn companies which include V12 Power Ltd, Kahn Design.
[quote][p][bold]picklesc[/bold] wrote: Great idea! People should get behind this. They are giving people a chance! Well done Mr.Kahn, Sir you are an inspiration to all in Bradford, an international statesman - who has put the city on the map![/p][/quote]In what resepect, by chance that he owns the number plate F1 worth £1m or that he is the brother of businessman Khurshid Khan, who was jailed for three years following a a massive nationwide bank fraud, though Khurshid had no involvement in the management or running of any of the Afazl Kahn companies which include V12 Power Ltd, Kahn Design. Avro
  • Score: 0

6:48pm Thu 13 Feb 14

mrs walker says...

I'd love to see our remaining derelict mills revamped and turned into single unit startups and studios. That would be a fantastic use for them. Containers are great where there's a dearth of accommodation, but Bradford hasn't got that problem - let's use what we have first.
I'd love to see our remaining derelict mills revamped and turned into single unit startups and studios. That would be a fantastic use for them. Containers are great where there's a dearth of accommodation, but Bradford hasn't got that problem - let's use what we have first. mrs walker
  • Score: 2

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