TARGETS to cut the number of empty shops in Bradford will not be met this year, a Council report reveals.

Nearly one in five units was recorded as empty in December last year.

The rate has worsened since June, when 18.4 per cent of shops were empty.

The new report says that based on the current trend, the authority will not meet its target of cutting vacancy rates to 18 per cent or less this year.

However, it says the vacancy rate had been worse - at 22 per cent - in 2014 and a “steady reduction in vacancies was being seen” since the opening of The Broadway shopping centre.

The report, by Bradford Council's strategic director of place Steve Hartley, says 1.5 million people visited The Broadway this Christmas, more than the number which visited the Christmas before.

It says work on the extension to The Broadway, with a Light cinema and four or five restaurant units, is "nearing completion in preparation for the cinema’s opening after Easter".

It adds: "With regards to restaurant unit take-up, [Broadway owner] Meyer Bergman are reporting that two units are under offer and a third in negotiation."

The report into the city centre is due to be discussed by the authority's regeneration overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday.