WHAT IS it with some Bradfordians when it comes to the regeneration of our city?

Judging by the comments section on the Telegraph & Argus website and other social media, there’s a hardcore of contributors, all claiming to live in the city, who whinge constantly about their perceived lack of improvements to the centre but then constantly knock everything new that comes along.

Their latest target is the six-screen 780-seat cinema being built on Broadway which is now likely to open next spring instead of its hoped-for winter launch.

The scheme, which adds 40,000 sq ft to the shopping centre development, involves transforming an existing row of shops into a boutique cinema, restaurants and cafes.

The cinema will be run by The Light, which successfully operates already in seven different locations around the country, including Cambridge, Sheffield and Bolton.

The company was set up in 2007 by two former directors of Cineworld and Warner Village Cinemas who between them established a new model, to challenge the big chains, based on delivering a mix of mainstream and independent films in a nice environment with smaller screens and café bars without inflated ticket prices.

The formula has worked so well that they are expanding rapidly.

Often, developers will keep their own counsel when a project is delayed which inevitably draws criticism from those who suspect there’s something going on behind the scenes.

In Bradford’s case, The Light have, to their credit, announced a delay in opening and explained in very simple terms that they have made a commercial decision to hold back the launch to concentrate on opening another of their new outlets which is nearer to completion.

They haven’t said which one but it’s not difficult to discover that they were planning to open new cinemas in Stockport, in Greater Manchester, and Addlestone, in Surrey, before Christmas as well as in Bradford.

Anyone with even a modicum of understanding of how business works will be able to grasp that it’s better to do one thing well than three things badly and it’s very common for rapidly-expanding businesses to re-shuffle their plans as circumstances change.

And The Light is clearly a company that’s going places, with another 11 cinema openings apparently planned around England and Scotland by 2020.

None of which cuts any ice with the knockers and doom-mongers who seem determined to drag down every effort to improve our city and way of life.

For example, here are some fairly typical social media comments from one individual reacting to the fact that only one new restaurant chain has so far signed up for the development: “In the time these delayed and failed developments started and stopped how many new restaurants and takeaways have opened in our once proud City....our future seems to be one of being " the curry capitol" [sic] and having more "pound shop" and "charity shops" than famous high street brand shops...is this the way forward ?? are we Bradfordians not realising where our future and this City's future lies , are we ready to accept the "budget/cheap" lifestyle ...looks like it to me.”

If this (anonymous) individual actually lives in Bradford, you’d have to be forgiven for thinking that he (or she) hasn’t left their darkened room for the last 10 years.

Despite all those determined to talk the place down, Bradford has moved on enormously in that time with City Park and The Broadway leading the way in creating a much more vibrant experience for visitors to the city centre.

Of course, there are still many problems to fix – like Darley Street’s decline – as there are in all big towns and cities. But Rome wasn’t built in a day.

To borrow another common – but true – cliché, success breeds success and the more positive we are about the good things that happen here, the more good things will happen.

It’s all about self-belief. Our sister big cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield all have it.

Isn’t it about time the knockers saw The Light….?

Festival is a good way to illuminate the positives

And speaking of lights…… It was great to see the Illuminate Bradford Festival bringing a feast of colour and excited crowds back to the city centre at the weekend.

The array of light and water installations, along with the projections and street performances, help to create a real buzz while giving people the opportunity to appreciate the quality of the buildings and the brilliance of City Park as a venue.

Making residents and visitors feel good about the place is an important part of the jigsaw - and money well spent.

Top marks for our teachers as table shows massive progress

IN CASE you missed it, there was some seriously good news about Bradford’s schools released on Saturday.

The latest GCSE result tables identified the district as the fourth most improved education area in the country in terms of the amount of improvement a pupil makes between finishing primary school and leaving secondary. Overall, Bradford was ranked 56th out of 151 LEAs, compared to 118th in 2016, on this measure.

That is a staggering improvement and clear proof that there is brilliant work being carried out in our schools by many talented, dedicated and hard-working teachers who face some of the toughest challenges in the country.

It was on exactly that basis that the T&A launched its Bradford & District Schools Awards to showcase the fantastic effort that’s put in every day and, I suspect, next March’s event is going to be a cracker!