Project to bring more restaurants and cafes into Bradford chalks up early successes (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Project to bring more restaurants and cafes into Bradford chalks up early successes
Updated 10:13am Monday 14th July 2014 in News
A PROJECT to bring more restaurants and cafes into Bradford city centre is planning a second event, after a successful summit held earlier this year.
The Taste of Bradford campaign aims to match existing and potential restaurateurs with empty premises, especially those around the Westfield site, to create a new 'culinary hub' for the city.
As part of the project, a summit was held earlier this year described by organisers as like "speed dating" between food companies and landlords.
Now the first successes from the summit are being revealed, and the organisers - lobbying group Bradford Breakthrough and Bradford Council - are planning a follow-up event either later this year or early next year.
Bradford Breakthrough chief executive Colin Philpott said the work, which began last autumn, had so far had chalked up a number of successes, including two restaurants which had already opened their doors.
And he said more businesses would be revealed in the coming months.
He said: "I don't want to get carried away, because when people walk around the city centre at the moment they will still see a lot of empty buildings, but there's a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes."
Mr Philpott said as a direct result of the summit, Bradford restaurateur Zulfi Hussain had found out about City Park's empty Pavilion building, where he now plans to open a high-end cafe.
He said plans for two cafes or restaurants in Ivegate and a new business in Arndale House - now rebranded as The Xchange - would be announced shortly.
Of the Xchange announcement, Mr Philpott said: "All I would say in relation to that is that I'm confident it's going to happen and it's an interesting one."
The building's agents, Jones Lang LaSalle, were being tight-lipped about the deal when contacted by the Telegraph and Argus this week.
Mr Philpott said two local initiatives designed to boost business in the city centre were proving a real draw for businesses.
These were the incentives offered under the Bradford City Centre Growth Zone, a £35m initiative to attract businesses into the city centre, and Bradford Council's decision to relax planning rules to make it easier to change the type of business operating from a city-centre premises.