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Cross-party support for Bradford's Enterprise Zone bid
Bradford city centre’s bid for Enterprise Zone status has been given cross-party support from the biggest political groups on Bradford Council.
The council’s Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green parties have backed Bradford’s case, which was earlier revealed by Councillor David Green, the regeneration portfolio holder for Labour-led Bradford Council.
A district with a designated Enterprise Zone will be able to offer companies within those boundaries business rate discounts, superfast broadband and fast-track planning.
Councillor Green has said if Bradford was successful it would kickstart £1 billion of city centre projects.
More than 5,000 jobs could also be created if the Bradford scheme is given the go- ahead by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
Councillor Glen Miller, leader of the Council’s Conservative group, said: “Any improvement within the Bradford district is an improvement for the whole of the district. And if you can get the town centre correct then the benefit for the rest of the area will lead to more economic improvement. That is why it is important to Bradford.”
Councillor Martin Love, leader of the Green group, said: “Obviously, I support the bid for the Enterprise Zone for Bradford city centre.”
Bradford East Liberal Democrat MP David Ward said the Enterprise Zone would be of significant benefit to the whole of the Bradford city regeneration.
He said: “In a place like Bradford in particularly, the most crucial element is confidence and Bradford had the reputation for the place that didn’t finish things and half-finished projects, whether it’s the Odeon or the Westfield development.
“And we are beginning to see with the Provident Financial building and the Premier Inn that there are growing signs of confidence that we are at last, after many false dawns, that we are moving forward.”
Rival bids have been submitted by Leeds City Council, Wakefield Council and Selby District Council.
The Leeds City Region LEP Board, which includes Bradford Council leader Ian Greenwood, will make a decision on June 15.