A ‘topping out’ ceremony has been held at a new hotel and office complex in Bradford city centre.

The £45m Southgate scheme, at the corner of Thornton Road and Godwin Street, will provide new headquarters for Provident Financial alongside a hotel run by the Jurys Inn chain.

During yesterday’s ceremony, Provident Financial chief executive Peter Crook donned a hard hat to lay the final batch of concrete on the top floor of the building.

Mr Crook said: “I am delighted with the progress to date on our new head office building. This has been a real team effort.”

The ceremony marked both the completion of the new building’s structure and a new chapter in Provident Financial’s 130-year history in Bradford. The company expects to move in this autumn.

The topping out of the building, marked by the unveiling of a plaque, represented a turnaround in fortunes for the project.

Near the end of last year, developer McAleer & Rushe revealed that construction work was in danger of stalling because it did not have enough money to complete the job.

Bradford Council agreed to the developer’s request for a £6 million commercial loan from the public purse to allow work to continue.

Mike Bell, the Council’s assistant director for asset management, said: “Bradford Council’s portion of the loan to McAleer & Rushe to complete the development has been repaid with interest and the whole sum is now close to full repayment well ahead of the scheduled final payment to Yorkshire Forward in September.

“We have long recognised the significance of this development to the regeneration of the city centre and were very pleased to see the topping out ceremony.

“Thanks to Bradford Council, the hotel and offices will be up and running later this year as planned, securing and creating around 1,000 jobs for the city.”

Managing director of McAleer & Rushe Eamonn Laverty said: “The development is a landmark new addition to the Bradford skyline.

“Construction continues apace and we are delighted to reach this important milestone in the building’s progress.”

Alex Munro, head of commercial development at global property consultancy Knight Frank, said: “This is a tremendous development for Bradford, especially in these challenging economic times.

“It is a first-class landmark headquarters building for Provident Financial and the Jurys Inn is a fabulous addition to the city centre.

“Everyone involved in this project should be very proud.”