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Overview - Our District

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, working alongside public and private sector partners and communities, delivers services and democratically accountable leadership to a diverse population of over 530,000 people and around 16,000 businesses.

The Council strives to secure better outcomes and equality of opportunity for everyone. It employs more than 8,000 staff.

The Bradford District is the fifth largest Metropolitan Local Authority District in England. It is the youngest district in the UK with nearly a third of the population aged under 20. And it’s diverse – ethnic minorities form a third of the population with more than 150 languages spoken within the district.

Geographically, our district includes the city of Bradford itself, the large town of Keighley and a number of smaller towns and villages many with their own strong and distinctive identities.

Outstanding landscapes complement historically important architecture alongside a rich heritage and vibrant contemporary cultural scene. Ilkley Moor, Haworth and Brönte Country, Saltaire World Heritage Site and the National Science and Media Museum in the city centre, amongst a host of other sites, attract 10 million visitors a year.

The scale, diversity and productive potential of the district is reflected in its strong, broad-based, innovative and entrepreneurial business community, which is part of an overall local economy worth £9.5 billion, the 11th largest in England.

Bradford District is home to high-value production businesses across a wide range of sectors, including food manufacturing, engineering, chemicals, digital technologies, energy and utilities. Many businesses support international supply chains in sectors such as automotive, construction, finance and health, making us one of the most internationally connected cities in the UK. The University of Bradford is a hive of technological innovation.

We are proud to be identified by Barclays Bank as the best place in Britain to start a business, named as one of the Sunday Times’ top 20 places to do business, and identified as the most improved city in the Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Good Growth 2019 Index.

The district has a strong and committed network of voluntary and community organisations with an estimated 30,000 regular volunteers and 100,000 occasional volunteers. The spirit of our communities is a tangible asset that we want to work on more with people in the future to develop and deliver our shared objectives.

Public services and the voluntary and community sector have a strong track record of working together in mature and effective partnerships and the district’s work to bring communities together and promote participation is among the most innovative to be found anywhere in the world.

While the Council and its partners have plenty of assets to work with, the district, like anywhere of its size and complexity, faces some significant and persistent challenges.


Whilst the District includes some of the wealthiest areas in northern England, the Bradford District is the fifth most income-deprived in the country. Some 266,000 people live in the poorest areas and nearly one third of our children live in poverty. Fuel poverty affects 13.5% of households. Health inequalities persist and the gap in life expectancy between the wealthiest and poorest areas of the district is around nine years for men and around eight years for women. These levels of poverty and inequality are unacceptable and increase the demand for public services.


We need to do more to improve transport connectivity to Bradford, Keighley and Shipley. Bradford is the largest city in the UK not on a mainline rail station and travel times between all parts of the district and the wider north are too long.

Education and skills

While progress has been made in closing the gap in educational attainment between the district and the national average it has not gone far enough or fast enough and the adult skills base remains relatively low. This affects productivity and potential inward investment decisions.


The district has high levels of need and demand for public services but the Council has limited ability to raise income locally. Our Band D Council tax is 8% below the average for Metropolitan authorities and 80% of our households are below Band D.