CITY centre business owners are being offered free online training courses to help with their post-lockdown recovery.

The courses have been organised by Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Ilkley-based Virtual College.

The BID, the limited company funded by an annual levy on local businesses to help promote and develop the city centre, is sponsoring a range of eight different courses – but levy-payers will also be able to enjoy a big discount on any of the College’s paid-for courses.

Nikki Chadburn, the BID’s business engagement officer, said: “This is a unique scheme designed to help owners and staff learn new skills to boost their businesses as they try to bounce back from the difficulties caused by the pandemic lockdowns.

“In the Virtual College, we have a fabulous resource on our doorstep and it seemed absolutely right to team up with them to help provide the best training and support we can for levy-payers and their teams.”

E-learning provider Virtual College launched in 1995, pioneering the use of the internet to deliver training at a time, place and pace to suit the learner.

Rod Knox, chief executive of Virtual College, said: “As a digital learning provider our aim is to create digital learning solutions which allow people, organisations and communities to succeed and flourish.

“At this challenging time for many businesses, we are pleased to be able to provide support to BID members to continue to develop their employees’ skills, keep them connected and engaged ready for the next set of challenges.

“Developing employees’ skills will enable businesses to be ready for the short-term and build resilience for the medium-term. As businesses start to adapt and prepare to return to a workplace that may look and feel significantly different, this extensive range of online learning will offer flexibility of learning at a time and place that suits the learner.”

The eight free courses on offer are: Get Moving, Get Healthy; Mental Health and Well Being Resource Pack; An introduction to Infection Prevention and Control; Prevent COVID 19; Prepared to Save a Life; Home deliveries for food businesses; Setting up your business for food delivery and Digital Business Suite.

Businesses can register for the free courses a

In addition, the BID has organised a 20 per cent discount for the first 50 businesses who sign up for any of the Virtual College’s hundreds of paid-for courses at The courses cover many key business areas.

To activate the discount, you need to contact Mrs Chadburn via e-mail on