Since the masterplan for the regeneration of Bradford city centre was drawn up, a number of high-profile schemes have been completed, but progress on other key projects has been agonisingly slow.

The iconic Gatehaus apartment complex, flanking Little Germany, was an early success story of the city’s regeneration initiative, as was the nearby restoration and conversion of Eastbrook Hall.

Meanwhile, the more recent completion of the Southgate complex, housing a hotel and the headquarters of Provident Financial, is seen as further progress.

And a number of notable public realm works have taken place, including improvements in Little Germany and the Heritage Streets project in Bradford’s retail heart in and around Darley Street.

On the downside, delays to Westfield’s Broadway shopping scheme and the lack of progress on plans to transform the former Odeon site have been seen by many as symbolic of the challenges faced by the city.

Val Summerscales, of Bradford Chamber of Trade, said: “Some very substantial projects have been completed but, unfortunately, they have been in the shadow of things that have not been done.

“The Gatehaus, Southgate and especially Eastbrook Hall were very welcome, and the Heritage Streets scheme has improved the aesthetic look of the city centre. Hopefully, Westfield won’t be long before they’re back on site again, and I think that’s the catalyst to people accepting that things have been done. It’s a shame that other substantial improvements are in that shadow.”

Asked if progress on regeneration had been quick enough in the eyes of existing city centre traders, Mrs Summerscales said: “Everything takes time. Major projects encounter problems that are sometimes unforeseen, but we should be pleased that a number of big projects have been completed. But it’s an ongoing process and it’s only when no work whatsoever is being done that we should worry.”

A report, produced by Mike Cowlam, Bradford Council’s assistant director of economic development and property, outlines progress with key development projects in the city centre.

In it, Mr Cowlam says: “The aim remains to deliver a fit-for-purpose city centre. That is to say, to create a vibrant, attractive, densely populated, well-used and visited city centre that achieves its potential to drive the growth of the district.

“It will ultimately have a fully-functioning property and investment market, top 20-ranked retail offer; 1,000,000 sq ft of high-quality Grade A office space; more than one million leisure visitors; 2,000-plus new homes; and be a hub for education, skills, training and technology.”

The city centre regeneration programme has been ongoing since the early 2000s, but has taken on particular focus since the Bradford Masterplan in 2004.

There are five significant schemes currently under construction, the most prominent being the City Park development at the heart of Bradford.

Also nearing completion is The Green sustainable student village with 1,026 beds, which is the first key project of the £750 million Learning Quarter initiative.

Developer Mi7 is pressing on with the next phases of the project at Listerhills, while Bradford College is also running a competition for a contractor to deliver their new £40 million building, which could be on site next year.

Meanwhile, work on the Culture Fusion project, a youth cafe-style facility to be housed in a converted mill in Thornton Road, continues apace, as does work on two hotel schemes, one to create a Premier Inn and the other a Travelodge.

One of the future projects is the Central Business District.

Mr Cowlam said: “Bradford needs more office jobs in its city centre to attract locally-based businesses back in to the city and to act as cost-effective and attractive location for relocations from elsewhere.

“The success of the construction of the new headquarters for Provident Financial Group has shown how this can be done.

“In order to create the right critical mass, a Central Business District needs to be created, mostly on the chosen site, adjacent to City Hall and within the new City Park.

“The first site for 100,000 sq ft of space could be available from March 2014 on the site of the former Police Station. This would invest £23 million to create 651 long-term jobs.”

He added that relocation of the Magistrates Court in due course would allow the remainder of the Central Business District site to be developed, bringing a further £46 million of investment, 200,000 sq ft of space and 1,300 further jobs by about 2018.

The report suggests that funds for the relocation of the court custody suite could be available through the Regional Growth Fund.

The Magistrates Court would be relocated as a later phase of the programme once momentum has been built within the City Centre market, the report added.

Mr Cowlam’s report says: “There is a clear need to create new jobs to meet a growing population and offset the public sector job cuts.

“While the delivery of Westfield is a key component of this, it needs to be augmented with other specialist retail and higher-value office jobs. This is why the Central Business District is so important.”

The report said the city required positive news stories to improve investor and business confidence. With that in mind, a number of events are ongoing that work to do this, including the British Science Festival.

“This event will alone could bring in excess of 70,000 visitors to Bradford City Centre,” the report said.