Bradford is ‘riskiest city in UK to invest in retailing’

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Empty shops in Bradford city centre at Rawson Place Empty shops in Bradford city centre at Rawson Place

Bradford has been named as the most risky city in the UK to invest in retail with a high number of empty shops, a damning report has said.

The survey found the district is most vulnerable to store closures, with a hugh number of vacant units and charity shops.

Bradford came ahead of Derby, Wolverhampton, Southampton, Hull and Sheffield with places like Lewisham and Wood Green in greater London emerging as two of the best high street trading locations.

Meanwhile vacancy figures from the Local Data Company showed that the national shop vacancy rate rose to an all-time high of 14.6 per cent last month, the highest figure recorded since LDC began its index in 2008.

The research for the Retail Risk Index by BNP Paribas Real Estate was compiled by looking at the number of vacant units and charity shops in 100 locations.

Councillor Dave Green, the executive member for regeneration, said that none of the consultants had bothered to ask Bradford Council what their strategy was to deal with the issues raised by the report.

“Given the history of ignoring the city centre over the last decade by the Council and others it is not surprising that, on the historical information, they have come up with this analysis,” he said.

“What I am not clear about is when the work was done and what they have taken into account.

“Have they looked at our recent work or the success of the Growth Fund bid (which will provide rates relief to businesses)?

“This is another piece of negative publicity we could have done without.”

The news comes as Game, the computer game retailer, entered administration with the threat of 600 store closures. Val Summerscales, of the Bradford Chamber of Trade, said that the report showed that Bradford was no different to any other city centre.

She said: “This is obviously disappointing but no-one can really say businesses would be less successful in Bradford than anywhere else.”

Retail sales values, the amount spent on retail nationally, grew by 3.2 per cent between February 2011 and last month, the Office for National Statistics has found.

Ian Parish, head of retail at BNP Paribas, said that the index did not mean those towns most at risk were doomed. “There are opportunities at each end of the scale,” he said.

The report comes just days after another report showed that Bradford was still punching below its weight in terms of attracting shoppers and is the fourth highest retail area in terms of the number of pound shop-type discount stores in the city.

Comments (25)

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8:57am Sat 24 Mar 12

OLDLAD says...

Once again Green and Co deny any problems and complain of adverse publicity. The townsfolk have known of the problems for years now professional have confirmed it so why can't the council see it. I think although Bradford council they must work in a different city as they never see what the public does. He mentions the work on the growth fund but no mention of the city centre or the odeon!! Me thinks selective memory syndrone.
Once again Green and Co deny any problems and complain of adverse publicity. The townsfolk have known of the problems for years now professional have confirmed it so why can't the council see it. I think although Bradford council they must work in a different city as they never see what the public does. He mentions the work on the growth fund but no mention of the city centre or the odeon!! Me thinks selective memory syndrone. OLDLAD

8:58am Sat 24 Mar 12

Clowny says...

“This is obviously disappointing but no-one can really say businesses would be less successful in Bradford than anywhere else.” Yes they can, that's exactly what this report is doing.
.
This report is independant with no axe to grind, it is purely based on facts, if it was reporting that Bradford was the safest place to invest everyone would be applauding it without question.
.
Whilst we deny and pretend there aren't problems, we're not going to be able to fix them.
.
With Business Rates set to rise it would be wise for businesses to contact a Business Rate specialist to contest them, the BBC yesterday mentioned: www.cvsuk.com
.
It is no surprise when you think about it, every year the official footfall survey has recorded a large fall in Bradford (so there is less potential for spending), in the meantime the cost of trading has increased, from rates, to utilities, to staff costs. That is simple maths to understand there's a problem.
“This is obviously disappointing but no-one can really say businesses would be less successful in Bradford than anywhere else.” Yes they can, that's exactly what this report is doing. . This report is independant with no axe to grind, it is purely based on facts, if it was reporting that Bradford was the safest place to invest everyone would be applauding it without question. . Whilst we deny and pretend there aren't problems, we're not going to be able to fix them. . With Business Rates set to rise it would be wise for businesses to contact a Business Rate specialist to contest them, the BBC yesterday mentioned: www.cvsuk.com . It is no surprise when you think about it, every year the official footfall survey has recorded a large fall in Bradford (so there is less potential for spending), in the meantime the cost of trading has increased, from rates, to utilities, to staff costs. That is simple maths to understand there's a problem. Clowny

9:15am Sat 24 Mar 12

Clowny says...

Councillor Dave Green is correct that the city centre is in the poor state it is now due to over 10 years of failure.
.
However the fact remains the city centre has worse figures for business vacancies now than under the reign of Adrian Naylor. Whichever party is in power appears irrelevant suggesting the failure is due to the leadership of Tony Reeves and Barra Mac Ruairí.
.
Until the situation with Westfield is cleared up, retail investment in the centre is going to be limited.
Councillor Dave Green is correct that the city centre is in the poor state it is now due to over 10 years of failure. . However the fact remains the city centre has worse figures for business vacancies now than under the reign of Adrian Naylor. Whichever party is in power appears irrelevant suggesting the failure is due to the leadership of Tony Reeves and Barra Mac Ruairí. . Until the situation with Westfield is cleared up, retail investment in the centre is going to be limited. Clowny

9:19am Sat 24 Mar 12

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Green quoting the growth fund, which has been reserved for Westfield which lasts for 3 years and expires in March 2016.
Not one brick has been laid at westfield, Mr Green so tell us how that will provide growth to the center.
Green quoting the growth fund, which has been reserved for Westfield which lasts for 3 years and expires in March 2016. Not one brick has been laid at westfield, Mr Green so tell us how that will provide growth to the center. Thee Voice of Reason

10:41am Sat 24 Mar 12

Albion. says...

Shops selling garish coloured lengths of cloth, spicy foodstuffs, cell phones and imported gold products seem to do well, surely THAT is where the future is for trade in Bradachi.
Shops selling garish coloured lengths of cloth, spicy foodstuffs, cell phones and imported gold products seem to do well, surely THAT is where the future is for trade in Bradachi. Albion.

11:20am Sat 24 Mar 12

GC BD4 says...

Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !!
Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !! GC BD4

11:25am Sat 24 Mar 12

MontyLeMar says...

Looks like Dave is indulging in a bit of damage limitation. No matter what he tries the independent surveys keep coming back and tell us we are still sinking. I must admit to some blame for this. I have been buying quite a lot recently but the internet is so convenient. And when I want a bit of touchy-feely, when buying a new pair of expensive shoes say, I go over to Leeds where the choice is infinitely higher. Bradford is in a hole and it is going to take a battalion of JCBs to get us out of it.
Looks like Dave is indulging in a bit of damage limitation. No matter what he tries the independent surveys keep coming back and tell us we are still sinking. I must admit to some blame for this. I have been buying quite a lot recently but the internet is so convenient. And when I want a bit of touchy-feely, when buying a new pair of expensive shoes say, I go over to Leeds where the choice is infinitely higher. Bradford is in a hole and it is going to take a battalion of JCBs to get us out of it. MontyLeMar

11:25am Sat 24 Mar 12

Joedavid says...

GC BD4 wrote:
Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !!
No their heads are in a pool.
[quote][p][bold]GC BD4[/bold] wrote: Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !![/p][/quote]No their heads are in a pool. Joedavid

11:27am Sat 24 Mar 12

Albion. says...

Joedavid wrote:
GC BD4 wrote:
Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !!
No their heads are in a pool.
Of blood after removal by Guillotine situated in the City Garden (sorry! wishful thinking ;-)).
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GC BD4[/bold] wrote: Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !![/p][/quote]No their heads are in a pool.[/p][/quote]Of blood after removal by Guillotine situated in the City Garden (sorry! wishful thinking ;-)). Albion.

11:28am Sat 24 Mar 12

Avro says...

Finally the truth emerges as to why potential tenants have little faith in signing up to Westfield!
Eight years of waiting for Westfield to get its act together has had a serious tole on the City Centre, and whilst ever they fail to commit to a build start date, the city centre will continue in its freefall.

Shame on Bradford Council in allowing the situation to continue for so long, and shame on Westfield for 8 years of nothing but a great big hole in the ground!
Finally the truth emerges as to why potential tenants have little faith in signing up to Westfield! Eight years of waiting for Westfield to get its act together has had a serious tole on the City Centre, and whilst ever they fail to commit to a build start date, the city centre will continue in its freefall. Shame on Bradford Council in allowing the situation to continue for so long, and shame on Westfield for 8 years of nothing but a great big hole in the ground! Avro

11:29am Sat 24 Mar 12

Albion. says...

Albion. wrote:
Joedavid wrote:
GC BD4 wrote:
Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !!
No their heads are in a pool.
Of blood after removal by Guillotine situated in the City Garden (sorry! wishful thinking ;-)).
Pass me knitting!
[quote][p][bold]Albion.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GC BD4[/bold] wrote: Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !![/p][/quote]No their heads are in a pool.[/p][/quote]Of blood after removal by Guillotine situated in the City Garden (sorry! wishful thinking ;-)).[/p][/quote]Pass me knitting! Albion.

11:33am Sat 24 Mar 12

old pecker says...

So what is the councils startegy for Bradford city center ??
mm lets see,
Puddle in the muddle ,
Hole in the Ground,
Asbestos Buildings left to Rot .
Half demolished Court house .
Paying Firms who go BUST to invest in Bradford .
Not realizing library was in a hazardous condition .
selling old schools , we now need to build at least 24 more !
not a good track record so far .
but the all have nice CCTV at home
So what is the councils startegy for Bradford city center ?? mm lets see, Puddle in the muddle , Hole in the Ground, Asbestos Buildings left to Rot . Half demolished Court house . Paying Firms who go BUST to invest in Bradford . Not realizing library was in a hazardous condition . selling old schools , we now need to build at least 24 more ! not a good track record so far . but the all have nice CCTV at home old pecker

1:34pm Sat 24 Mar 12

greencarpet says...

if they decided to invest in the city by providing financial help to retailers i hope they support existing small shops instead of concentrating on startups, when the latter happens it risks a cycle of new shops always being at an advantage and driving existing ones out of business after the people running them have poured in many years work and all their money. then those new shops suffer the same fate when the next lot of grant-funded startups come along.
if they decided to invest in the city by providing financial help to retailers i hope they support existing small shops instead of concentrating on startups, when the latter happens it risks a cycle of new shops always being at an advantage and driving existing ones out of business after the people running them have poured in many years work and all their money. then those new shops suffer the same fate when the next lot of grant-funded startups come along. greencarpet

1:53pm Sat 24 Mar 12

yezboss says...

Albion. wrote:
Albion. wrote:
Joedavid wrote:
GC BD4 wrote:
Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !!
No their heads are in a pool.
Of blood after removal by Guillotine situated in the City Garden (sorry! wishful thinking ;-)).
Pass me knitting!
You forgot to mention all the parking controls and restrictions
Which will ensure you cop for a penalty notice without even trying. Welcome!
[quote][p][bold]Albion.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Albion.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GC BD4[/bold] wrote: Cllr Green boasting about how the council had spent millions on the water park speaking on Radio Leeds today, and that this feature would help with econonmy growth in Bradford. have Bradford cllr's got their heads buried in a sand pit !![/p][/quote]No their heads are in a pool.[/p][/quote]Of blood after removal by Guillotine situated in the City Garden (sorry! wishful thinking ;-)).[/p][/quote]Pass me knitting![/p][/quote]You forgot to mention all the parking controls and restrictions Which will ensure you cop for a penalty notice without even trying. Welcome! yezboss

7:35pm Sat 24 Mar 12

Andrew_ide says...

Was in town today, nothing to encourage you back in a hurry to shop. I'd love to know why the council gave Westfield such a contract without performance clauses that has killed shopping in the city.
Was in town today, nothing to encourage you back in a hurry to shop. I'd love to know why the council gave Westfield such a contract without performance clauses that has killed shopping in the city. Andrew_ide

9:02pm Sat 24 Mar 12

flogem says...

Oh dear,nobody asked Dave
whats happening in Bradford.
Another big sulk and pass the
buck.
Its obvious to anyone nothings
happening in Bradford and not likely to either if thats his attitude.
Oh dear,nobody asked Dave whats happening in Bradford. Another big sulk and pass the buck. Its obvious to anyone nothings happening in Bradford and not likely to either if thats his attitude. flogem

12:02pm Sun 25 Mar 12

eebygum says...

Hello who's fault is it that business's won't invest? It's this stupid council who would rather waste money than invest in genuine business ventures. The mess with the Westfield shopping center and failure to get people shopping in Bradford have caused this mess. I don't believe anyone had a say in how the Leeds Bradford Airport money was spent even though it was claimed that the pubic would have their say.
Hello who's fault is it that business's won't invest? It's this stupid council who would rather waste money than invest in genuine business ventures. The mess with the Westfield shopping center and failure to get people shopping in Bradford have caused this mess. I don't believe anyone had a say in how the Leeds Bradford Airport money was spent even though it was claimed that the pubic would have their say. eebygum

12:37am Mon 26 Mar 12

bobbyo says...

what a mess, corrupt councils,
etc,
what a mess, corrupt councils, etc, bobbyo

1:03pm Mon 26 Mar 12

bradfordian says...

Westfield built their largest shopping centre in London in double quick time. They build where they know they can make huge profits. Don't for one second they care about anyone in Bradford. At least the council put Bradford first. A blame culture will get us nowhere. The mirror pool will be well used by the people of Bradford and it will draw in business for local businesses. Give it a chance.
Westfield built their largest shopping centre in London in double quick time. They build where they know they can make huge profits. Don't for one second they care about anyone in Bradford. At least the council put Bradford first. A blame culture will get us nowhere. The mirror pool will be well used by the people of Bradford and it will draw in business for local businesses. Give it a chance. bradfordian

1:03pm Mon 26 Mar 12

bradfordian says...

Westfield built their largest shopping centre in London in double quick time. They build where they know they can make huge profits. Don't for one second they care about anyone in Bradford. At least the council put Bradford first. A blame culture will get us nowhere. The mirror pool will be well used by the people of Bradford and it will draw in business for local businesses. Give it a chance.
Westfield built their largest shopping centre in London in double quick time. They build where they know they can make huge profits. Don't for one second they care about anyone in Bradford. At least the council put Bradford first. A blame culture will get us nowhere. The mirror pool will be well used by the people of Bradford and it will draw in business for local businesses. Give it a chance. bradfordian

2:16pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

Val Summerscales:
She said: “This is obviously disappointing but no-one can really say businesses would be less successful in Bradford than anywhere else.”

Hahahaha, I hope 'our Val' had a big red nose, massive shoes n a curly wig on when she made this point.

Yes they can say that, is there any point opening a Harvey Nicks net to Oxfam, Help th Aged and 6 takeaways, one boarded up and the others flanked by bookies.

" We don't need this negative publicity" Oddly enough, independant bodies don't feel the need to lie and cover up so any publicity Bradford gets about it's shopping experience will be negative.

You couldn't make this stuff up, do they employ scriptwriters who churn out woeful sitcom after woeful stcom to do the council press releases and statements?

A bunch of jokers, having a laugh at poor jokes to our expense.
Val Summerscales: She said: “This is obviously disappointing but no-one can really say businesses would be less successful in Bradford than anywhere else.” Hahahaha, I hope 'our Val' had a big red nose, massive shoes n a curly wig on when she made this point. Yes they can say that, is there any point opening a Harvey Nicks net to Oxfam, Help th Aged and 6 takeaways, one boarded up and the others flanked by bookies. " We don't need this negative publicity" Oddly enough, independant bodies don't feel the need to lie and cover up so any publicity Bradford gets about it's shopping experience will be negative. You couldn't make this stuff up, do they employ scriptwriters who churn out woeful sitcom after woeful stcom to do the council press releases and statements? A bunch of jokers, having a laugh at poor jokes to our expense. Prisoner Cell Block A

2:25pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

bradfordian wrote:
Westfield built their largest shopping centre in London in double quick time. They build where they know they can make huge profits. Don't for one second they care about anyone in Bradford. At least the council put Bradford first. A blame culture will get us nowhere. The mirror pool will be well used by the people of Bradford and it will draw in business for local businesses. Give it a chance.
Yeah, we'll all have to bath in it as we won't be able to afford to heat and run a bath of water soon enough.
[quote][p][bold]bradfordian[/bold] wrote: Westfield built their largest shopping centre in London in double quick time. They build where they know they can make huge profits. Don't for one second they care about anyone in Bradford. At least the council put Bradford first. A blame culture will get us nowhere. The mirror pool will be well used by the people of Bradford and it will draw in business for local businesses. Give it a chance.[/p][/quote]Yeah, we'll all have to bath in it as we won't be able to afford to heat and run a bath of water soon enough. Prisoner Cell Block A

5:19pm Mon 26 Mar 12

bobby98007 says...

"The research for the Retail Risk Index by BNP Paribas Real Estate was compiled by looking at the number of vacant units and charity shops in 100 locations"

How does a high number of vacant shops and charity shops make us the riskiest place for retailers to invest?

This doesnt take into account demographics, regeneration, current levels in investment, infrastructure etc.

The survey is utter cr@p.
"The research for the Retail Risk Index by BNP Paribas Real Estate was compiled by looking at the number of vacant units and charity shops in 100 locations" How does a high number of vacant shops and charity shops make us the riskiest place for retailers to invest? This doesnt take into account demographics, regeneration, current levels in investment, infrastructure etc. The survey is utter cr@p. bobby98007

5:31pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

So you would invest your wealth into a project when all around you see the dismal failure of others before you? This city is dead, will not ever return to it's former glory and anyone brave or foolish enough to invest as it is at present is one of the above. Very brave or very foolish.
So you would invest your wealth into a project when all around you see the dismal failure of others before you? This city is dead, will not ever return to it's former glory and anyone brave or foolish enough to invest as it is at present is one of the above. Very brave or very foolish. Prisoner Cell Block A

8:20pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Tinybantam says...

An old school friend of mine left Bradford ten years ago and moved to Germany where he opened a business in a small city centre. Since that time he has opened three more and is considering another two in other German Cities. He came back to Bradford last month and we visited the centre. Whilst walking around he just shook his head and as we got back in the car his words were "Bradford is dead and buried. I was actually considering setting my Brother-in-Law up in the same kind of outlet that I have in Germany but I won't waste my money. He will have to look at other options."....Speaks for itself really. He also said some other things that i cannot possibly repeat, because I would only be accused of playing the race card, but his words are, in my opinion totally true and justified.
An old school friend of mine left Bradford ten years ago and moved to Germany where he opened a business in a small city centre. Since that time he has opened three more and is considering another two in other German Cities. He came back to Bradford last month and we visited the centre. Whilst walking around he just shook his head and as we got back in the car his words were "Bradford is dead and buried. I was actually considering setting my Brother-in-Law up in the same kind of outlet that I have in Germany but I won't waste my money. He will have to look at other options."....Speaks for itself really. He also said some other things that i cannot possibly repeat, because I would only be accused of playing the race card, but his words are, in my opinion totally true and justified. Tinybantam

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