THERE was perhaps an air of inevitability about Game’s move from Darley Street into The Broadway shopping mall.

Several big names – including Marks & Spencer, Topshop, H Samuel and Boots – have already abandoned Darley Street for the air-conditioned environs of the city’s premier shopping destination. Even the Post Office has upped sticks and moved in with WH Smith.


The exodus has left Bradford’s traditional high street looking forlorn.

We shouldn’t blame The Broadway. The shiny new mall, which cost £260m to build, is precisely the kind of aspirational retail offering our city has needed for many years.

Changing shopping habits are causing problems for High Street retailers everywhere.

So what do we do about a problem like Darley Street? If we accept that it is fanciful to hope that the street will ever again be the vibrant heart of the city’s retail district, how can it be restored to health?

The Council thinks it has one solution. As part of a bold £15m regeneration scheme the former Marks & Spencer would be demolished to make way for a new food market as part of a wider ‘top of the town’ revamp.

The local authority has an option to buy the M&S building and is currently consulting with traders over its vision.

But even if this plan goes ahead the new market will not open until 2021 at the earliest.

Bradford is already losing retailers at a faster rate than other cities – can it afford to wait four more years?