Bradford's proposed Westfield Broadway shopping scheme has reportedly been sold in a move which it is claimed could speed up the start of construction work.

A national newspaper claims today that the city centre site, where work has been on hold since being mothballed by Australian-based developer Westfield in 2008, has been sold to Meyer Bergman, a London-based specialist real estate investment management firm, for £200 million.

The report suggests that the deal could result in work on the £275 million Broadway scheme, due to include stores operated by Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Next, starting early next year for completion in 2015.

Westfield would reportedly build the scheme, to be branded Westfield Broadway, and manage it after completion. The company has refused to comment on the report.

A Westfield spokesman said: “Westfield is not prepared to comment on speculation. Westfield is committed to progressing The Broadway scheme in Bradford and is focused on the pre-letting of the scheme before it can commence on site.

"Westfield has in fact recently announced that Debenhams has signed an agreement to extend its proposed store in the Broadway development. This follows the latest announcement of the completion of its major anchor store lettings with the signing of Marks & Spencer.

"Next has also recently agreed to open a flagship store in The Broadway scheme - its second in Bradford. There is strong interest from a range of major stores and specialty shops given the relatively untapped retail market in Bradford City Centre.”