City that’s aiming to restore its industrial heartbeat

Bradford
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Bradford is a city fighting to return to its rightful place as a leading industrial centre and a true Northern Powerhouse, according to a leading author.

A A Dhand, author of Streets of Darkness and a proud Bradfordian himself, said: “I set my books against Bradford’s struggles with a hint at the way it is changing and the new developments.

“I feel Bradford is a city trying to get back to its rightful place when it was a leading industrial centre. There is a fair way to go with the infrastructure and so on, but I believe our city has potential to be a Northern Powerhouse.”

Mr Dhand has recently seen huge success with his novel Streets of Darkness. The TV rights have now been sold to FilmWave, whose director Paul Trijbits was executive producer for the recent adaptation of J K Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy for the BBC and HBO.

“I hope my book and TV series will give Bradford the exposure it deserves, to raise the profile, but also to showcase the city from a different perspective,” he said.

Raised in Bradford, Dhand spent his youth observing the city from behind the counter of a small convenience store.

After qualifying as a pharmacist, he worked in London and travelled extensively before returning to his home city to start his own business and begin writing. The history, diversity and darkness of the city have inspired his Harry Virdee novels.

The author will be talking about his love for the city and how its landscape is changing, during a business clinic at the YEN Expo2016 conference being held tomorrow.

At the conference, which is being held at Bradford College’s David Hockney building, he will be offering advice to would-be authors on how to get published as well as guiding them through the pitfalls – which he has learned on his own 10-year journey to finally breaking through.

He will also look at the time management skills needed to meet the many commitments faced by the modern-day entrepreneur, explaining how he juggles his writing career with the day-to-day running of his pharmacy business.

Mr Dhand said: “I’m a lifelong Bradfordian and proud of my city. I’m delighted to be attending the YEN Expo event as I want to meet as many people as possible who share those views and want to help drive things forward.

“I’m also keen to encourage the artistic side of our community – such as novel writing, script writing, film and theatre, and make sure we promote the many creative visions of our city.”

One of the main aims of the YEN Expo conference is to bring together the business community to promote the growth of the city. A Bradford’s New Direction panel, featuring senior local figures, will discuss the next steps required to keep up the momentum of the ongoing renaissance.

A new Creative Zone will showcase the city’s artistic, film and media sectors and the work of the college’s art and media students.

YEN Expo is a Bradford-based business event which attracts about 1,000 delegates from across the region and has around 50 exhibition stands from a wide range of Yorkshire businesses. Formerly known as Bradford Business Conference, the event is in its fifth year.