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220,000 more visitors spending their cash - and that 'should attract investors'
News that Bradford’s City Park has generated more than £1m in new trade since it opened in March will now help bring new investors into the centre, it is claimed.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for employment, skills and culture, said the statistics compiled for the Council by independent economic consultants Ekosgen would give new businesses a good reason to come to the city.
According to Ekosgen, visitors have spent an extra £1.3m in Bradford in the six months since the vibrant £24m City Park opened and it has attracted about 220,000 more people.
The study said the extra spending has brought about an upturn in trade for local businesses including the Kirkgate shopping centre which has reported “a significant increase in footfall”.
Coun Hinchcliffe said: “We have seen with our own eyes more people being drawn into the centre and visiting City Park but we still needed to make sure our investment was bearing fruit.
“The study has shown us that this is the case. People are coming in from all different cultures and backgrounds. It’s great news we are seeing an increase in spending in our shops, our restaurants, in hotels.”
And she added the report’s results would themselves be a big attraction for new investors.
“We’ve got the proof now that spending in Bradford city centre is on the increase. We can say to potential investors look this is what has happened for our existing businesses and this is what it could do for you. This could be your business. We are expecting an extra spend of more than £2m in the whole year.”
The visitor figures were based on numbers of people brought into City Park for special events and a regular head count.
City Park features a 3,600 sq m mirror pool and 100 dancing fountains and was funded by Bradford Council, the now abolished regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and the Regional Transport Board.