WORKING with neighbouring areas could present Bradford with historic opportunities, the city’s business leader says.

Andy Caton, Bradford Chamber of Commerce president, told its annual dinner that, a year after the Broadway shopping centre opened, confidence remained strong but the district needs to collaborate with Leeds and other northern cities to create more investment in infrastructure, transport and skills.

He said: “The opportunities for Bradford, our near neighbours here in Yorkshire and for the North are nothing short of historic.

“In transport, the promise of HS3, or Northern Powerhouse Rail as it is now called, could be a game changer for future generations. Our current rail infrastructure means that journeys are too slow and there are not enough seats at rush hour for people from Greater Manchester to be willing to work here, or for people who live here to cross in the other direction in anywhere near enough numbers.

“Those problems are felt most acutely here in Bradford. We are too remote from Liverpool and Manchester as well as from York, Newcastle and other key locations to the east. All this, despite our place at the geographical heart of the North.

“Together, our great cities have a history of success and rivalry which in the global race now ties our fates closer together than ever before. Our successes are shared, our problems better faced together not by working alone.”

Mr Caton, said the chamber would continue to work with local authorities to press upon government the need for the city to be on the proposed east-west high speed rail route.

He also called for a new motorway to be built linking Keighley to Manchester through Colne and Burnley on the existing uncompleted motorway.

Mr Caton also urged the Leeds city region leaders to reach a deal with the Government for more powers and resources similar to those agreed with Manchester, Liverpool and the Tees Valley, which include elected mayors.