TODAY marks five years since Bradford’s Broadway shopping centre opened.

There was celebration when the £260m centre finally became a reality, rising from the rubble of the much-maligned ‘hole in the ground’ after a series of major delays to the project.

While the gleaming new centre welcomed hordes of shoppers through its doors on November 5, 2015, today will look somewhat different as the second national coronavirus lockdown begins.

Two weeks before the March lockdown, The Broadway had hit the “magic” footfall number. Now it’s around 50 per cent down on what it was last year and the centre will have to look at how to move forward in the face of the impact of the pandemic.

But general manager Ian Ward is optimistic about the future, with new additions like the Ninja Warrior centre, Estabulo and Haute Dolci still tipped to open.

“It’s about evolving and about getting yourself into a position where from an asset point of view you’re giving people more than a specific reason to come,” he said.

For Mr Ward, The Broadway slots into the jigsaw of wider developments in the city centre like the upcoming Bradford Live development and Darley Street Market.

“There are a lot of things happening in Bradford, I’d like to think that The Broadway in some respects was a catalyst to some of that,” he said.

“Putting Broadway to one side, I think Bradford will be a completely different place in five years.

"I think Bradford has set itself up to succeed in many things that it does.The Covid situation has put things back a little bit, but I think we’re looking at that next five-year cycle, the whole aspect of what’s happening in Bradford and the entire district, will be nothing but positive.”

Mr Ward said the The Broadway will go from “strength to strength” and he wants to build the right mix of tenants - both retail and leisure - with a firm eye on when more city centre living space opens up.

“It’s not about what The Broadway does, it’s about what everyone else is doing,” he said.

“If we all work together to put that jigsaw puzzle together, then Bradford will succeed. Ultimately, if Bradford succeeds, The Broadway succeeds.”