NEWS that a major firm is to open an office in Bradford has been heralded as a "positive and healthy statement".

Writing on, Kevin Ellis, senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers UK (PwC) said that a base is due to open in the city in January next year.

While the exact location is yet to be confirmed, the announcement means Bradford will join other major cities of the North - Manchester, Leeds, Hull and Newcastle - in benefitting from the firm's presence.

In the piece, entitled 'Where business and societal purpose meet', Mr Ellis highlighted Bradford as one of the Government's priority areas for raising education standards and promoting social mobility for young people. He said he hoped the opening of the office in January would help increase PwC's impact.

"We have one in nearby Leeds, but the interns we speak to from Bradford say the distance can feel insurmountable when you feel part of a very different community," he said.

"So alongside our work with schools there, it will hopefully help bridge the gap to work. "The office will focus on a range of audit tasks, developing skills and boosting employability irrespective of background.

"Recruits with the aptitude and inclination will have the opportunity to pursue professional qualifications, but the idea is to challenge the assumption you have to follow a particular route to work here. I know many businesses are doing fantastic work around social mobility, and the more we work together and share best practice the better. Scaling up, and seeing what more we can do across the UK is important to me personally."

Nick Garthwaite, President of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said of the news: “For a business the size of PwC to come into Bradford is a positive and healthy statement.

"It will create new jobs, bring in additional investment and enhance the city’s profile across the region and beyond.

"PwC have demonstrated a firm commitment to helping to increase social mobility and raise aspirations and education standards and are to be applauded for that. We look forward to welcoming them with open arms.”

While Alison Hedley, Employer & Placement Services Manager at the University of Bradford, added: “This new Bradford base will help students at all levels in the city see a career with PwC as something they can relate to. The University has a strong record in working with local employers to develop employability in students and graduates, most of whom wish to stay in the area on graduation, so a new local PwC office is welcome news and we look forward to building on our already strong links with a major employer in the region.”