A BUSINESS Improvement District could spread to Bradford’s learning quarter after receiving the backing of the city’s university.

The support from the University of Bradford means the BID area will be expanded to take in another large chunk of the city centre.

The University announcement follows the launch of a campaign by the Telegraph & Argus in support of the BID, and an expansion of the BID area to include the historic Little Germany commercial district.

The BID will see local businesses paying towards a fund that will be used to improve the safety, cleanliness, vitality and marketing of the city centre.

The project will go to a ballot in September, and the BID team have nine months to persuade more than 600 retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, professional services companies and other firms and organisations to vote in favour of paying for the five-year project. If they are successful, about £2.5 million will be raised to improve the centre.

Professor Brian Cantor, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are delighted to become part of the Bradford BID Development Group and to join colleagues in playing our part in establishing a business improvement district for our city.

“Bradford is a city where much is happening and being developed, and there is huge potential for the future.

“The establishment of a BID will enable our businesses and major organisations, including the University, to have a strong voice in shaping this great city and to provide clear direction in its development and progress.

“The University of Bradford is proud to be one of the city’s major institutions and to be able to play a key role in its future development.”

The announcement of the University’s backing for the BID was welcomed by Ian Ward, chairman of the BID Development Board.

He said: “The University of Bradford is a fantastic institution and a key player in the future of the city and the city centre. It’s staff and students play an important part in the life and economy of the city’s retail heart, both shopping and enjoying its leisure facilities, as well as contributing greatly to its vitality.

“We’re thrilled the University has thrown the weight of its support behind the BID and we believe it will play a really significant role in helping to ensure the project is a major success.”

He said the University’s location in the centre of the city made it a natural partner for the BID.