REPRESENTATIVES of two of the city’s most important institutions have joined the operating board of Bradford BID.

Ryan Sparks, director of communications and commercial at Bradford City AFC, and the Reverend Canon Paul Maybury, Precentor of Bradford Cathedral, are now part of a 23-strong team overseeing the Business Improvement District and its five-year budget of almost £2.5 million.

Ian Ward, chair of the BID board and general manager of The Broadway, said: “I am really pleased to be welcoming Ryan and Paul to one of the strongest BID operating boards I have ever come across.

“We have members representing just about every sector of the city centre’s life and economy, from independents to major national chains, from education to big business, from entertainment to tourism, from arts and culture to hospitality and leisure, from property to technology.

“These new appointments will further strengthen the board at a crucial time as our Getting Bradford Back to Business campaign strives to support the vital recovery of our local economy and help businesses get back on their feet in the ongoing battle to overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He stressed the role of Director on the BID Operating Board is purely voluntary and unpaid and members contribute to it entirely over and above their day-to-day roles.

“The commitment we have from our operating board is outstanding and a real tribute to their passion for, and pride in, Bradford,” he said.

Canon Maybury said: “I am very pleased to have been invited onto the Bradford BID Board representing the Cathedral.

“Bradford Cathedral has been a very enthusiastic supporter of the Bradford BID from the very beginning.

“We believe in the aspirations and plans of Bradford BID and want to play our part in seeing the Bradford BID area thrive both economically and socially.

“The Cathedral is a major visitor attraction in the centre of our wonderful city and our purpose is to offer a generous welcome to all. This sits entirely comfortably with the priorities of Bradford BID.

“I hope that I will be able to offer a helpful perspective from a Faith organisation and a Charity, committed to the flourishing of the Bradford BID area.”

Canon Maybury, who lives within the BID area, has been a priest in the Church of England for 25 years and has worked in other parts of West Yorkshire as well as in the Middle East. He is married to Sarah and has three children and three grandchildren.

Ryan Sparks was promoted to the position of director of communications and commercial at Bradford City last month after being appointed director of communications last year. He joined the Bantams in 2018 as head of media and public relations.

He said: “It is a real privilege to be asked to join the Bradford BID’s operating board and I am very much looking forward to working with what is a talented team of like-minded people to help drive our city forward.

“Our football club attracts thousands of people, young and old, to Bradford every week and we want to play our part in further developing the area.

“We have so much to offer in Bradford and are proud of what we are and what we stand for. This was encapsulated in the club’s ‘City For All’ campaign, which welcomed all of corners of the district - celebrating pride, ambition and affordability.

“As a football club, we are delighted to be working alongside the Bradford BID and will do everything we can to make our city the best it can be for everyone."