This Digital Strategy is just the start of a strategic map for the digital transformation of Bradford. Much of that map has yet to be decided and will require a robust stakeholder collaboration and engagement framework to develop. Some of it will be driven by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Strategy, which we are very much a part of. However, there is also a need for Bradford to develop its own strategy to build our digital and smart capabilities as a district particularly for our clean growth aspirations.

To develop such a strategy and roadmap to its fullest is a significant task with many complexities requiring significant stakeholder engagement. One could also argue that the continued pace of technology change, and the increasingly social-economic and environmental challenges means the strategy will constantly evolve as a living entity. How far do we look into the future? How aspirational should we be whilst being pragmatic on successful delivery with the constraints we face? What should the vision for Bradford be as a Smart Place? How can we move forward with confidence in an ever changing environment and the economic challenges we face?

As we faced the pandemic, and with too many variables and constraints, we took the view that the development of a digital strategy for the district would have to be an incremental approach. The first of these is laying the foundation. Can we make progress with essential capabilities we know we need as our strategic vision and priorities for the district continues to develop? This approach would ensure that progress in our digital infrastructure continued.