BUSINESS and regeneration chiefs are heading to the capital to beat the drum for Bradford.

Bosses from Westfield, Debenhams and Bradford Council are meeting potential investors in London today to tell them there has never been a better time to set up shop in our city.

With the construction of Westfield's Broadway shopping centre well under way, regeneration chiefs are keen to secure more tenants for the scheme as well as in the surrounding streets.

They have invited a host of leading retailers and businesses to the briefing, being held at the headquarters of the lawyers Pinsent Masons in central London.

Speakers at the event will include Michael Sharp, the chief executive of Broadway's flagship tenant, Debenhams.

Westfield's development director Duncan Bower and George Walsh-Waring from the Broadway centre's investors Meyer Bergman will also talk about the opportunities within the new shopping centre.

Mr Bower said there were more than 6.2 million people within one hour's drive of the city centre with a potential spending power of almost £1 billion.

He said: "Bradford is the fourth largest metropolitan district in England.

"There continues to be growing momentum behind the leasing of this new development with a line-up that includes the expanded Debenhams department store, which will now trade on three levels, Marks and Spencer, Next, New Look and JD Sports and many more in detailed negotiations."

Bradford Council's leader, Councillor David Green, and chief executive, Tony Reeves, will also speak at the briefing about the business-boosting initiatives on offer in Bradford, such as the City Centre Growth Zone.

Cllr Green said: "We have a really great message to get out in the capital. More and more major investors are showing interest in our city and there is never a better chance than now to invest in the north.

"We are inviting a whole range of businesses to join Bradford Council and Westfield at this event to hear about the huge opportunities that are available."

He said footfall in the city was expected to increase by nearly 40 per cent once Broadway opened, so now was a good time for firms to get a foothold in the city.

He said: "By going to London we are getting our message out far and wide for people to come and invest in Bradford."