Bradford University professor backs Bradford enterprise zone bid (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Professor Andrew Day says enterprise zone will boost confidence in Bradford
A professor at the University of Bradford with a track record for sharing research with businesses in the region has backed the city’s bid to become an enterprise zone.
Professor Andrew Day, Ford professor of quality engineering at the university and a director of its Automotive Research Centre, said there needs to be “encouragement” to help bring back confidence in the city centre.
Prof Day, who received a special prize at the university’s first knowledge transfer excellence awards in 2010 for his long-standing record of work with businesses, notably Ford, BP, Gates Corporation, BAE Systems and Tata Motors, said the city needed to build up its commerce.
He said: “I think it’s very important for Bradford.
“I think Bradford suffers a little bit from rather too much enthusiasm on the Leeds part of the Leeds City Region. It needs the enterprise zone. It needs encouragement in my view, not just for the small businesses, but it needs to boost large businesses as well.”
Bradford Council’s regeneration chiefs believe the enterprise zone would kickstart £1 billion of city centre projects and create more than 5,000 jobs.
The bid has been backed by political leaders as well as businesses and traders in the city.
Prof Day said: “It needs commerce of all sizes because I think a lot of people lack confidence in Bradford city centre.
“An enterprise zone would help bring back that confidence and help bring back shops and businesses that have perhaps moved elsewhere, so I think it is absolutely essential.”
Rival bids have been submitted by three other authorities: Leeds City Council, Wakefield Council and Selby District Council.
The Leeds City Region LEP Board, which includes Bradford Council leader Ian Greenwood and John Parkin, chief executive of Leeds-Bradford International Airport, will make a deci-sion on Wednesday, June 15, after recommendations from a private sector-led task group.
That decision will then need Government ratification.