Council strategy chief resigns to take up new job in West Country

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Barra Mac Ruairi Barra Mac Ruairi

Bradford’s regeneration tsar Barra Mac Ruairi is resigning to take up a new job in the West Country.

Mr Mac Ruairi, strategic director of regeneration and culture at Bradford Council, is credited with having an instrumental role in the creation of City Park as well as leading the ongoing regeneration of the wider city centre.

Other major projects he worked on during his six years here include the Canal Road Urban Village, the £1.4 billion Leeds City Region Deal to boost the local economy and transport network, the Property Programme to rationalise the Council’s estate, boosting jobs through the City Centre Growth Fund and securing Westfield’s commitment to build in the city centre.

He also worked behind the scenes to safeguard the National Media Museum and to help the city gain the Unesco City of Film status.

Mr Mac Ruairi, who is leaving to become strategic director of place at Bristol City Council, said: “My years in Bradford have been very challenging but highly productive and rewarding. Much of my role, such as keeping the street lights on and the roads functioning, never make the headlines, but are the essentials of day-to-day life.

“In terms of major transformation, I believe that the building of City Park and the start of the Westfield scheme will be significant turning points in the future of Bradford.

“I did my very best for Bradford and I wish the city and the wider district all the very best for the future.”

The leader of Bradford Council, Councillor David Green, said: “Barra has worked tirelessly over the last six years to build a stronger future for Bradford.

“These have been challenging times but many of the projects have come to fruition within the last year or two and of course we now have a solid commitment from Westfield to build the super shopping centre we have all been waiting for.

“He has also forged ahead with the ‘Producer City’ concept – strengthening the reputation of the city as a great place for both manufacturing and the creative industries – and of course was very happy to have seen the completion of City Park, which many people have enjoyed over the past couple of years.

“These kind of projects have a snowball effect in increasingly bringing investment into the city, which considering the difficult economic climate we have all had to endure, has been a sizeable achievement.

“I wish him all the best in his new role and am sure he will tackle it with the same vigour and enthusiasm he has always shown here.”

Mr Mac Ruairi will be the second director to depart in a matter of months, with director of children’s services Kath Tunstall retiring at the end of this year.

Mrs Tunstall, who had been with Bradford Council for seven years, will be replaced by Michael Jameson, currently the executive director at Oldham Council.

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