TRANSFORMING the area around Bradford Interchange and the southern part of the city will be key to a strong economic future, according to a new report into high speed railway.

Bradford Council's Northern Powerhouse Rail Growth Strategy was presented to an international audience earlier this week, but finer details into how the city could be regenerated over the coming years have now been revealed.

A crucial part of the six part strategy is the Southern Gateway, an area stretching out from the Interchange towards Broomfields and encompassing the land between Manchester Road and Wakefield Road.

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The authority hopes to "redevelop large and underutilised" buildings in that area to make it a crucial part of the city with nearby transport links.

The report says: "The masterplan is a unique opportunity to re-think where Bradford city centre is going in the future, being cognisant of how cities will function in 15-20 years time, and the services and assets that will need to be provided.

"It provides an opportunity to meet housing allocations in a future-proofed manner, and around a sustainable public transport hub.

"Within the Southern Gateway area there are clear opportunities to redevelop large and underutilised buildings transfer major medical and educational assets to a better-connected location, and provide mixed-use developments that cater for the needs of a young, expanding and mobile Bradford economy.

Similarities of the proposed Bradford development have been drawn to London Kings Cross and St Pancras after the area around the capital's refurbished train stations saw 2,000 new homes built, along with a large number of amenities and offices.

The report outlines that improvements to both Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square are already in the pipeline.

A masterplan is being developed to modernise Bradford Interchange, while a scheme to upgrade Forster Square is in the business case development stage.

As part of the changes to Bradford Interchange, it is being proposed retailers move into any new space built to generate more money.

The report adds: "The recent development of Birmingham New Street is an excellent example of where retail has been used to provide a high-quality gateway to the city.

"With a constrained, below-ground station site investment was focused on the above ground retail offer which has become the first impression to the city when travellers emerge from the platforms and a retail destination in its own right.

"Retail investment in Bradford has gathered pace in recent years, as shown by the continued development of the Broadway retail and leisure centre and plans for Darley Street Markets.

"Linking future developments to the proposed NPR hub is a means by which a world class gateway for the city can be provided while also improving the user experience for people already living and working in the Bradford district."

All of the changes are being proposed as Bradford Council outlines its case for high speed rail to serve Bradford.

This would see journey times to nearby cities and other transport hubs significantly reduced.

The report claims a journey to Leeds will be cut from 24 minutes to seven, while anyone travelling to Manchester will see their travelling time reduced from one hour to 22 minutes.

A journey to Manchester Airport, which is the main UK base for Pakistan International Airlines, will go from one hour 20 minutes - and a change - to a direct 30 minute service.