Bradford set for property and jobs boost from City of Culture status

Bradford’s victorious bid to be UK City of Culture in 2025 will give a boost to the city’s commercial property market, says a Yorkshire property expert.

David Cran, Yorkshire director at chartered surveyors and estate agents Bradley Hall, pointed to the successes that previous City of Culture recipients had enjoyed and predicted a similar boom in property activity, with the potential for increased revenue and job creation.

A report by the University of Hull looking at the Humberside city’s successful bid found that “the most significant impact of all” was an estimated £676m of new private and public investment that was generated for the city.

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Since 2017, Hull City Council has continued to invest in its cultural and leisure stock, including the £120m Albion Square development, the £36m Bonus Arena, £4.3m Queens Gardens refurbishment, the £3.8m Pearson Park Project, the multi-million pound development of Whitefriargate and longer term plans for the city’s cruise terminal.

Bradford is set for a property boom.Bradford is set for a property boom.
Bradford is set for a property boom.

A UK City of Culture is chosen every four years and has previously been awarded to Derry-Londonderry (2013), Hull (2017) and Coventry (2021).

Since winning the title, Coventry has seen more than £172m invested in music concerts and the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery, as well as a further £500m for the city’s regeneration, figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport show.

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The year is set to deliver more than 1,000 new performances and events including 365 artist commissions, a series of major arts festivals as well as exciting national and international collaborations.

Its themes will be rooted in the unique heritage and character of Bradford and will reveal the magic of the district that is held in its people, its ambition, and above all, its potential.

Mr Cran said: “It is fantastic that Bradford’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025 has been successful. It is great recognition for this up and coming city.

“This will undoubtedly have a huge positive impact on the economy of Bradford and the wider area. The evidence from previous cities that have been named City of Culture is that it provides significant investment and GVA improves too. I’m sure that this will have a knock-on effect on the commercial property market and that this will lead to greater demand and therefore an increase in value.

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“In fact, there’s probably never been a better time to invest in Bradford.”

A report by the Enterprise Research Centre, an independent research centre which focuses on SME growth and productivity, found that being City of Culture in 2013 increased the GVA of Derry-Londonderry.

The research found that before 2013 it had a rate of GVA growth which was typically below that in the UK as a whole but after its year as City of Culture its GVA matched or surpassed UK average growth.

“Being UK City of Culture will provide huge amounts of opportunities for businesses and investors in Bradford,” added Mr Cran.

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“It’s not often that a city has such a guarantee of activity and investment and I’m sure that will give investors huge confidence.”

Shanaz Gulzar, chair of Bradford 2025, said: “This is a huge opportunity to celebrate our extraordinary district and for our young, ethnically diverse population to become leaders and change-makers and begin a new chapter in our story.”

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