Website maintenance on Friday and Sunday

We will be doing maintenance to our website systems on Friday, 23 and Sunday, 25 February. more »

Better skills, more good jobs and a growing economy

We will grow our local economy in an inclusive and sustainable way by increasing productivity and supporting businesses to innovate, invest and create great jobs in the district.

Our ambition

We will grow our local economy in an inclusive and sustainable way by increasing productivity and supporting businesses to innovate, invest and create great jobs in the district.

Our economic growth will be inclusive, sustainable and resilient. We will make sure everyone can contribute to and benefit from growth, helping the long-term unemployed, people with long-term conditions and care leavers into the labour market. We will build a fairer and more cohesive district.

We will make sure growth protects our physical and natural environments, meeting this generation’s needs without compromising those of future generations. We will work to ensure our recovery unlocks new opportunities, such as in the low-carbon sector and the digital economy. This will make us stronger and more resilient to future economic trends and shocks.

Our context

Our local economy has many powerful assets. These include a vibrant small and medium enterprise sector, a number of nationally significant businesses and a growing reputation as a great place to start a business within the UK.

We have a number of challenges including:

  • Helping businesses and individuals adapt to the changes in the economy and nature of work as a result of COVID-19 so the local economy can recover safely and effectively and people can access good jobs.
  • Creating jobs in new growth sectors.
  • Helping people to get the education and training they need to secure highly skilled jobs.
  • Tackling transport connectivity across the district and beyond.
  • Improving employment outcomes for everyone. This has been made worse as a result of COVID-19 as businesses close, which has hit young people, low-paid workers and BAME residents hardest.
  • Supporting our businesses through the transition from the European Union single market to new trading relationships by signposting them to support and information

Our priorities

Living with COVID-19

We will:

  • Help people into work and give them the skills to succeed. To do this we will create a flexible and agile skills service to retrain local residents who find themselves unemployed, are entering the job market for the first time or are considering self-employment. We will work with businesses to support workforce mental health and wellbeing, which will help boost productivity.
  • Help businesses access support to innovate and adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. We will connect businesses to financial and other support packages. We will help businesses to embrace new digital ways of working. We will use our local procurement powers to increase the social value of contracts and develop our local supply chain.

Building a Better Future

We will: 

  • Ensure our young and enterprising population are equipped with the skills and confidence to succeed. We will connect our population to employment opportunities across the district, the North and the UK.
  • Support people furthest from the labour market, including those with learning disabilities, into work. We will create new employment opportunities, particularly in sectors with workforce shortages such as health and social care.
  • Provide digital platforms and infrastructure to support employment growth and retraining via remote learning, access to peers and wider networks.
  • Make the most of our distinctive features and use our unique architecture, heritage and cultural assets to create an environment for growth.
  • Develop an outstanding bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2025.
  • Create a strong city centre business destination through investment in the One City Park office scheme and other developments.
  • Work with the Towns Fund boards to improve the prosperity of Keighley, Shipley and other places in the district.
  • Develop and deliver our cultural strategy, Culture Is Our Plan, in recognition of the cultural sector’s rich contribution to economic and social wellbeing.
  • Work with Arts Council England and National Heritage Lottery to win funding and support for projects.
  • Use our cultural assets to attract more visitors to all parts of the district, drive economic growth and create new jobs in the cultural, creative and tourism industries.
  • Build on our strong and diverse economy to increase innovation, creativity, productivity and prosperity.
  • Make the most of the ‘Bradford District Pound’ and ensure that an increasing proportion of our £475 million third-party spend goes to local businesses and community organisations.
  • Provide enterprise support to our thriving business community and help people who want to start their own businesses.
  • Support social enterprises and social entrepreneurs through the Local Access Fund and Impact Hub investments in the district.
  • Improve our transport infrastructure by securing support and investment in key projects including the city centre Northern Powerhouse Rail stationNorthern Connect, City Centre and Rail Station Masterplans, Calder Valley Rail Line Upgrade and Skipton-Colne rail link. 
  • Improve digital connectivity to speed up business growth and connect more people to opportunities in the digital economy. We must ensure businesses are able to access high-speed broadband wherever they are in the district.
  • Help businesses to increase exports and grow global trade links. We will ensure businesses have the information and support available to thrive following the exit from the European Union.
  • Develop the cultural offer in the district through key projects including supporting the successful delivery of the former Odeon cinema into a premier live music venue.

How we will measure success

  1. Increase the years of healthy life expectancy (at birth) in both males and females and close the gap with the national average (shared target with Better Health, Better Lives)
  2. Increase the percentage of people with NVQ Level 3 and above and close the gap with the national average.
  3. Increase the amount of Council spending on resources locally to 50% of total by 2024.
  4. Increase employment overall and close the gap with the national average trend.
  5. Increase the earning of employees in the area and close the gap with the national average.

The underpinning plans and strategies that will enable us to deliver on this priority include: