BRADFORD ranks as the most optimistic city in Yorkshire when it comes to the future of the high street, a new survey has revealed.

The research was commissioned by Visa to mark the launch of this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

The research also found that four in five (80 per cent) of small high street businesses surveyed in Yorkshire are optimistic about the future of their high street - up from 53 per cent one year ago. On top of that, 62 per cent said their local high street is improving.

Meanwhile, 64 per cent of people surveyed in the region visit their local high street at least one a week, but people said they would like to see more clothes shops, pop-up shops, grocery shops and butchers.

In Bradford, 51 per cent of consumers surveyed were optimistic about the future of the high street - despite a raft of national retail chains experiencing problems. The city hasn’t been immune to the problems troubling the high street and has faced its own challenges, including the ‘hole’.

But in recent years, Bradford’s ‘top of town’ North Parade area has seen a resurgence, being recognised in the awards in 2015 and 2016, The Broadway was built, Sunbridgewells opened and Ivegate has also seen a number of new additions. Just this week, ambitious plans to revive Darley Street with a new food market and public square were given the go ahead. Jeni Mundy, Regional Managing Director UK & Ireland, Visa, said there is “plenty to celebrate” on high streets and independent shops are playing an important role.

“Through our involvement with the Awards, we’ve witnessed the huge strides that high streets are making in transforming themselves, with many adapting to changing consumer demands for new goods and services whilst maintaining their status as a hub for local communities,” she said.

“Today’s consumers expect a great deal from their shopping experiences, and it is those high streets demonstrating adaptability, resilience and creativity that are setting themselves up for success.”

The Great British High Street Awards are run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. The initiative includes a competition to find the UK’s best and most improved high streets within two categories: the Champion award to celebrate the UK’s best high streets, and the Rising Star award for those taking the lead and working to adapt and diversify

Nominations for the awards can be made by local authorities, Business Improvement Districts and – for the first time – groups of high street retailers, from today. Shortlisted entries will be announced in August 2019. For the second year in a row, outstanding local individuals will also be recognised through the High Street Hero Award which will identify those who, through their innovation, energy, time or enthusiasm, stand out as leading lights on their high streets and in their local communities. Visit: