Jobs boost shows faith in district

The news that the Provident Financial Group is to create a further 250 jobs is fantastic news for Bradford.

And it will also contribute to the renewal of the city with the financial giant expanding into new premises to accommodate its faster-than-expected growth.

It is worth pointing out that it also gives further vindication to Bradford Council for its decision in 2009 to loan £6m to ensure the £45m Southgate complex, which houses Provident’s headquarters as well as the Jury’s Inn Hotel, was completed.

That move attracted some criticism at the time, but three years on, Provident is now set to increase its workforce to a total of 1,000 in the city.

It is a real shot in the arm for Bradford, and comes at a time when the city could genuinely be turning a corner.

There is genuine movement on Westfield at last, and the rate relief scheme agreed last month should provide an incentive for new businesses across the city centre.

By utilising an empty property – whether it is Sunwin House, once home to T J Hughes, the Thomas Cook building, which is due to close next year, or the former police building in the Tyrls – the news not only means more people working in that area, but also one less building is unused.

No one would suggest that 250 jobs in themselves is going to suddenly transform Bradford. But what it does do is show that a successful firm like Provident has a huge amount of faith in the district.

And that will undoubtedly count in our favour as other companies consider investing here over the next few years.

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