Bradford sets out plans to become fastest growing economy in the UK

Ambition of plans praised by Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Minister Claire Perry MP and Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP at London event.

Article dated Thursday Mar 22, 2018 at 02:08 PM

A vision has been set out to make Bradford the UK’s fastest growing economy over the next decade. Showcased at an event hosted by famous Keighley-born media personality Alastair Campbell in London yesterday (21 March), the vision was warmly welcomed by both BEIS Minister Claire Perry MP and Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP.

Together with Ms Perry MP and Mr Berry MP, the vision was discussed and welcomed by event speakers:

  • David Baldwin (Chair of Bradford Economic Partnership and Chief Executive of Burnley FC)
  • Piers Linney (former Dragons Den panellist and non-executive Director of British Business Bank)
  • Niamh McBreen (Investment Director, AMP Capital - owners of Leeds Bradford Airport)
  • Anne-Marie Canning (Independent Chair, Bradford Opportunity Area)
  • Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe (Leader of Bradford Council)
  • Kersten England (Chief Executive of Bradford Council)

As a key aspiration of Bradford’s new Economic Strategy, the plans would see Bradford District’s economy grow by £4bn, taking the District’s Gross Value Added (GVA) from £10bn to £14bn.

Spearheaded by the Bradford Economic Partnership, an organisation made up of key private and public sector organisations across Bradford District, the strategy looks to take advantage of Bradford’s position at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse to build inclusive, sustainable economic growth over the next decade. When realised, this growth would bring an extra 20,000 people into work and raise District GVA per head from £18,600 to £26,600.

Chaired by noted Bradfordian and Chief Executive of Premier League football team Burnley FC, David Baldwin, the Bradford Economic Partnership, working alongside Bradford Council, have identified four key opportunities which provide the foundation for this planned growth:

  • Bradford’s young and enterprising population - as the youngest city in the UK, with around 25% of Bradford’s population under the age of 18, Bradford’s young growing population has the potential to drive real growth
  • Bradford’s distinctive offer - from the Victorian splendour of Bradford City Centre to historic UNESCO designated Saltaire and the stunning Bronte Country near Keighley, Bradford is a District with a broad and distinctive offer
  • Bradford’s economic success - recently being identified by Barclays Bank as the best place to start a business, and already home to market leading businesses including Morrisons, Yorkshire Water and Yorkshire Building Society, Bradford’s growth plans are built on strong foundations
  • Bradford’s global connections - with Bradford District’s exports estimated to be worth around £2bn per year, and a world-leading University which attracts students from across the globe, Bradford already enjoys excellent global connections

Focussed on building on these opportunities by: supporting the district’s young and enterprising population; reinforcing Bradford’s distinctive offer; building on the foundations of existing business success; and developing Bradford’s global links, the Economic Strategy sets out an ambitious vision which could revolutionise the economy of the north of England.

David Baldwin, Chair of the Bradford Economic Partnership, explained:

"I'm incredibly proud that we’ve been able to showcase our vision for the future of the Bradford District economy to key figures in the worlds of business and politics. Bradford District has an incredible potential, and I truly believe, given the right tools, our district can thrive.

"Hearing our ambition being praised by Claire Perry and Jake Berry was a really positive moment for me - many people have worked hard on developing this strategy, and to win the backing of key Government Ministers is a very positive step towards delivering the growth Bradford needs.

"However, this is just the beginning. We have developed a strategy, but a strategy is nothing if not delivered. As Chair of the Bradford Economic Partnership, I will be working very hard to see this strategy is implemented, and would encourage everyone to take a moment, recognise the potential for growth within Bradford District, and support us in delivering this transformational change for the north of England."

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, added:

"Taking the Bradford Economic Strategy to London and presenting it to an audience of key policy makers and investors shows the ambition we have for Bradford District.

"At Bradford Council we are focussed on delivering the growth our district needs, and are delighted to be working with David Baldwin and other private sector partners to ensure the ambitions in the Economic Strategy are delivered.

"The strategy is about much more than big numbers in a document, though. The strategy is about delivering sustainable, inclusive growth that all residents of Bradford District can benefit from. Better education, improved connectivity, more high-skilled employment opportunities - these are what the Economic Strategy is all about. And we look forward to seeing these delivered in the coming years."

The Bradford Economic Strategy outlines the District’s growth ambitions for years 2018 to 2030.

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