Work ‘to start soon’ on delayed Bradford shopping centre

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DEVELOPer Westfield expects to start work on the long-awaited Westfield Broadway shopping centre in Bradford before the end of the year.

Councillors in the city have expressed frustration over delays to the project but a report to the authority’s Regeneration and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee notes the developer expects to start work shortly, subject to securing final agreements with retailers.

A Westfield spokesman said: “2013 has seen solid momentum on the Bradford Broadway Development with the signings of new retailers including Next, WHSmith, Vodafone and Phones 4U to join confirmed anchors Debenhams and Marks & Spencer. Earlier this year, Westfield secured planning permission to create an additional third sales level for Debenhams and a number of new retailers are currently in contractual negotiations.

“Since February this year, Westfield has submitted the required documentation to discharge all of the planning conditions which need to be discharged prior to start of construction. Of the “pre-start” conditions, only three remain to be discharged and it is expected that these will be discharged in mid October.

“The exact start date is still subject to finalising the remaining retailer contractual agreements. However, Westfield is working intensively with the relevant retailers to facilitate a start late in quarter four 2013.”

The meeting will also discuss the redevelopment of Bradford’s former Odeon cinema building.

Earlier this year Bradford Council agreed to accept the transfer of the building and the former Tyrls police station for £1 each from the Homes and Communities Agency. The local authority expects to formally invite expressions of interest for developing the old cinema, following the completion of the Funding Agreement and transfer.

The report says: “Following the transfer of the former Odeon building to its ownership, the council has agreed to ask interested parties to come forward with expressions of interest for commercially viable proposals that involve the retention of all or part of the building.”