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Enterprising backing from party leaders
In the long history of regeneration proposals for Bradford, it is rare indeed for there to be cross-party support from all the political leaders for a particular course of action.
So it is welcome news that the leaders of all the main parties are throwing their support behind the bid for Bradford city centre to become an Enterprise Zone.
It further adds weight to the argument that Bradford is the obvious choice for the location of the proposed enterprise zone for the region.
The fact there is cross-party support for it should mean that crucial local decisions on issues such as planning permissions are more likely to be progressed without political-dogma-based hindrance.
That will allow the vital task of the regeneration of Bradford, and the creation of potentially more than 5,000 jobs and £1 billion of inward investment, to move forward as quickly as possible.
One of the greatest benefits of the enterprise zone bid is that it provides a very clear-cut strategy for Bradford, a way ahead after years of disappointment that has a real chance of being the catalyst for a determined and sustained period of regeneration. Winning the bid – and winning Government support to create the zone – will give businesses a renewed confidence in the city as well as significant benefits for getting behind it. It is a vision for the future that not just political leaders but all local residents can clearly see and understand and, surely, give their full backing to.
Bradford has had more than its fair share of bad luck: if, for instance, the recession hadn’t occurred at the moment the Broadway scheme was about to get under way it would have been built by now and the city would be sailing.
It’s about time our luck turned – and the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership can help make that happen.