Bradford Council tries to tempt businesses to city centre

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TOP regional business leaders will be in Bradford today to unveil a city centre growth zone scheme.

Council chiefs say a “significant number of jobs” will be created.

The city centre has been blighted by delays to a shopping centre development. Buildings were demolished in 2004 and work on the site is not expected to begin until next year.

Bradford Council and the Government’s regional growth fund have allocated £34.8m to the initiative.

Officials say its main aim is to stimulate investment and private sector growth in the city centre through incentives for new or existing businesses including rate rebates, access to superfast broadband and a skills programme for local people.

About £5m is being spent on “public realm” works, and
£4.4m on the first steps in the redevelopment of the former police station.

Barra Mac Ruairi, Bradford Council’s strategic director for regeneration and culture, said the initiative provided a “distinct offer” to businesses wanting
to locate or expand in the city centre.

Andy Caton, of the Bradford-based Yorkshire Building Society, added: “The growth zone initiative is a substantial and meaningful investment in Bradford’s future and the efforts to regenerate the city centre.”