Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Give us the key to unlock city's future
With bated breath, Bradford is awaiting a decision that could transform the city centre’s fortunes for years, if not decades, to come. If it is chosen to become the region’s first Local Enterprise Zone, more than 5,000 new jobs and £1billion in investment could be heading our way.
The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership is the body that will decide the city’s fate when it meets next month. By backing Bradford’s bid, it would open the door to the whole district’s future releasing the potential for unprecedented economic growth. And nowhere, surely, deserves it more than Bradford.
With the infrastructure, including publicly-owned land, already in place for around £1 billion worth of development, including New Victoria Place, the Business Forest and the Broadway shopping centre, the city centre ticks all the right boxes for the enterprise zone criteria.
As Councillor Dave Green, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, says, that would allow the zone to be potentially operational from April next year. The buttons are there waiting to be pushed: Westfield has already given some indication that it is ready to move ahead with the Broadway development again and there have also been encouraging noises relating to the former Odeon site.
Winning enterprise zone status would help to signal a phenomenal change in the fortunes of the city – and would also provide huge benefit to the region. Bradford is the second largest economy in the Leeds City Region, which is itself the largest regional economy in the country outside London.
A booming Bradford is a booming Yorkshire. The city’s success is crucial to the whole regional economy and allowing this bid would give the city the confidence and the tools to move forward in the way it has been trying to do for years.
Coun Green says it would “unlock the full economic potential of the city”. We would urge those members of the Leeds City Region board in whose hands this decision rests to let us have the key to do that – and then watch Bradford go.