BRADFORD is just one of the few places in England selected for an innovative public spaces development scheme.

Just five areas gained a place on the Future Place programme, which will bring a wide range of high skilled professional support and advice, and help Bradford Council and its partners "develop a vision for the city centre and unlock its potential."

It will also help to better promote the city to an international audience.

Announced today at the major international property market conference, MIPIM in Cannes, and the LGA Annual Housing, Planning and Infrastructure Conference, in London, Bradford’s selection automatically opens up free development support from the Royal Institute of British Architects, Chartered Institute of Housing, Local Government Association and Royal Town Planning Institute.

The panel selected Bradford from a UK-wide field of local authorities due to the Council focusing its bid on improving and enhancing people’s lives, community wellbeing and sustainable environments.

Greater Exeter, North Northamptonshire, Gateshead and Great Yarmouth were also selected to take part in the programme.

The Future Place programme aims to develop innovative solutions for urban growth through high quality design, ‘future thinking’ and knowledge sharing.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We are thrilled to have been selected for such a prestigious programme. Bradford has a history of delivering innovative and award-winning urban development projects such as City Park.

“By working alongside top professionals from internationally recognised leaders in urban development, and local stakeholders such as the Bradford BID, Property Forum and Civic Society, we can develop some truly ground-breaking and transformational projects.”

Steve Hartley, Strategic Director for Place, said: “Bradford city centre has significant capacity and space for redeveloping and repurposing the way we use our buildings and spaces to promote sustainable and inclusive growth”.

“Our ambition is a city centre that is transformed to enable new and styles of living that are attractive to all our communities, provide economic opportunity and be the cultural heart of the district.

“We aim to put people at the centre of this transformation. Innovative design and delivery will be key in achieving this, as will collaborative working and capacity building to ensure all people and stakeholders are able to shape this future.”

RIBA President, Ben Derbyshire, said: “Congratulations to these local authorities on their selection. Local authorities play a vital role in creating happy, healthy and sustainable communities, and I am pleased to support their initiative, investing in public engagement and collaborative planning to design the best possible environments.

“The commitment, despite financial and political barriers, is highly commendable, and I look forward to working with all five over the next phase of the programme, learning the lessons as they develop their vision and celebrating their success.”

Future Place is a joint two-phase initiative by The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Local Government Association (LGA) and Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). It is supported by the British Property Federation, Building Research Establishment, Construction Industry Council, Home Builders Federation, National House Building Council and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The programme has been designed to promote best practice and the potential of innovative delivery, design and funding models, cross-sector collaborations capacity building, and knowledge sharing at a local level.