A NEW hub railway station in Bradford city centre could provide an economic boost of £1.5 billion a year to the local economy.

Fresh research published today examines the impact of creating a new station in the city centre as part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) line proposals to boost high-speed connectivity.

The research has been conducted using data on the growth experienced in Birmingham following the construction of a new station there.

The report outlines how securing a city centre hub in Bradford as part of NPR could transform the local economy, create jobs and unlock housing and business growth.

It also supports Bradford’s campaign to secure a high-speed station in the city centre through a revamped Interchange.

Commissioned by construction firm Mace, who delivered the Birmingham New Street Station in 2015, it estimates that it could add up to £1.5bn a year to the local and Northern economy and create more than 1,000 local jobs, for an investment of £250 million.

The report concludes that Bradford's two existing stations, referred to as "dead ends", and poor connectivity is "almost certainly" holding back the city's potential for attracting businesses.

Transport for the North’s draft plan was announced in January and proposes a new NPR line connecting Manchester and Leeds via Bradford, and a decision on the preferred route is expected by the end of the year.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, executive member for regeneration, planning and transport at the Council said: “It is fantastic to see a major international employer get firmly behind Bradford’s campaign for Northern Powerhouse Rail and recognising the enormous potential it has to transform our city centre and the North as a whole.

“This independent report complements the Council’s own economic research released earlier this year and further adds to the case for why Bradford must be included on the NPR network.

“We are working with Transport for the North and other transport partners in the region to continue building the economic case for a city centre station. Equally, we are working with residents and businesses to understand what this could mean to them and where they choose to live or work, creating a legacy for the next generation and ensuring they have the means to create and live a prosperous life.”

Lisa Bowden, head of infrastructure in the north at Mace, said: "For Bradford, direct connections across the North will mean more investment coming into the city and residents will greatly benefit from the regeneration this will kick-start across the district whilst also supporting the wider economic contributions to the North’s economy.

She added that Mace is backing Bradford’s campaign for Northern Powerhouse Rail as they believe it's a "once in a generation opportunity" to change the city for the better.

Mike Cartwright, from Bradford Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the report, saying: "We believe that the benefit, economic and otherwise, is not only to the local economy, but wider, to the sub-regional economy too.

"Nearby land would see an uplift in value and local regeneration would receive a boost, but the connectivity and linkages within and beyond West Yorkshire that would be created fit closely with the aspirations of the whole Northern Powerhouse concept.

"Bradford needs it, businesses want it, the North deserves it!"

Councillor John Pennington, leader of the Conservatives on the Council, said he had been banging the drum about better connections for Bradford for ten years.

“The importance of getting a railway link in Bradford as part of HS3 is a no-brainer.

“Bradford has so much to offer but the big problem is getting people here to take up that offer.”

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the Council questioned using Birmingham as a comparator given the report states the station there was about bringing businesses into the city, while it describes investing in infrastructure in Bradford as helping the labour force travel to jobs in Leeds.

"Going forward, the work needs to focus on inward investment, not about exporting our talent," she added.

The report can be found online at macegroup.com/perspectives/180704-bradford-bonus.