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City of Culture 2025
After a hotly contested bid, Bradford was unveiled as the UK’s City of Culture for 2025. The plans outline 1,000 new performances, 365 artist commissions, and a series of major art festivals. This is a ‘new chapter’ for Bradford, celebrating the heritage, diverse population, and young residents.
Bradford is already named the best city for first-time buyers for its affordability and its sense of community. For residents, the City of Culture festivities will create thousands of new jobs. This will benefit a variety of industries from tradespeople to creatives. As a result, the local economy will massively benefit from the plans as more money circulates within the city. The 2021 City of Culture, Coventry, benefitted massively from the title. It attracted £172 million in inward investment and over a million people to the city through 700 ticketed events. Bradford is predicted to have a similar – if not higher – outcome and turnout.
Bradford will see increased funding to help deliver on project goals, which will go into new event facilities for 2025 and beyond.
Bradford Council purchased Kirkgate shopping centre for £15.5 million in a move to reshape and revitalise the city centre. Key retail units will move to The Broadway shopping centre, with Primark acting as the new anchor tenant. Meanwhile, the Kirkgate shopping centre will be demolished to make way for the council’s City Village concept. The project aims to create a vibrant area for around 1,000 attractive new homes and a business hub for trade, investment, and growth. By 2024, this regeneration in Bradford will have created up to 400 jobs.
Mission statements have outlined the plan to build upon Bradford’s impressive infrastructure to create an urban and sustainable community to live, work and play. It will promote healthy living and act as an inspiration to the future generations of Bradford thanks to the high-quality green spaces and public realm improvements.
Massive transformations are underway at Bradford’s iconic Odeon Theatre, which will become a 3,800-capacity music venue. The venue is ‘bringing the beat back to Bradford’ and represents one of the largest regeneration schemes in the city’s history.
Bradford Live is restoring its iconic 1930 landmark to its former glory, creating a hub for both entertainment events and conference spaces. Once open, predicted for 2024, the reborn Bradford landmark will attract 300,000 predicted annual visitors. It will also introduce four new bars, each with a unique style, to generate revenue to maintain, improve, and sustain the space. A brilliant, thriving new place in the heart of Bradford City Centre.
The project aims to attract new musicians and host “a calendar of 200+ world-class music, comedy and family entertainment” to help increase tourism while celebrating Bradford’s heritage and cultural values. Additionally, the venue will play a huge role in the City of Culture plans, acting as an events hub. Taking advantage of the iconic exterior and interior elements of the building, plans will incorporate existing features into the project. Bradford Live music venue will be ‘a world-class’ event space and leisure and business destination for future generations.
One City Park
A £35 million project to introduce a new five-storey grade A office space in Bradford City Centre is underway. One City Park will approximately accommodate 450 new jobs, bringing skilled professionals to Bradford. Additionally, the development will bring around 300 construction jobs to the city. Bradford Council identified the need for grade-A office spaces in the city, as major businesses were hesitant to relocate to the city. So, due to this, plans for One City Park began.
One City Park will turn Bradford from a commuter town and home for hybrid working to its high-profile destination for employment. The introduction of new businesses will have a ripple effect throughout the city, as workers and companies relocate North to the city. Bradford property market and rental demand will grow, with many skilled professionals looking for high-quality accommodation. Furthermore, growth in rental demand will see rental prices rise, as there is a supply-demand imbalance in the city.
Darley Street Market
A three-floor market will be introduced in Bradford City Centre, making use of a vacant retail unit. This will include non-food vendors, fresh food vendors and a hot food court, open until the evening to kickstart the night-time economy and benefit from the city’s thriving young population. The food court will include a seating area for 530 people, across 13 independent traders. Additionally, the goal of the project is to increase small business activity in the city centre and create unique experiences for visitors in Bradford.
The project will cost £23 million and is expected to open in May 2024. Meanwhile, Darley Street Market will encapsulate stalls from both Oastler Market and Kirkgate Market once construction is complete. This will make way for a new residential area, creating high-quality accommodation in central Bradford. Additionally, the space will include an event space to host a range of cultural and entertainment activities to heighten community spirit.
Work is well underway to redesign and transform one of Bradford’s most iconic buildings. High Point was home to Huddersfield and Bradford Building Society, originally constructed in the 1970s. The building has stood vacant for over 25 years and plans to repurpose the building have been discussed for several decades.
Now, the building is an £11 million-pound innovative residential development. By embracing community and sustainability, High Point has transformed from an abandoned commercial building to an innovative eight-storey titan. Therefore, by introducing high-quality accommodation for residents in a key location, this rejuvenated landmark will attract professionals to the area.
Public Transport Corridor
Well Street, known as one of the ‘quietest’ areas of Bradford City Centre, will benefit from a huge multi-million-pound regeneration. The area separates the large Broadway Shopping Centre from Little Germany. Currently, this area serves as a pedestrian area, linking the two districts. However, plans aim to introduce a new public transport corridor to help residents get across the city much faster.
Improving the transport infrastructure will ease travel for residents, whether for work or leisure. This will also help improve employment rates and boost the local economy. Furthermore, this will help international tourists, who may not have access to a vehicle whilst wanting to explore more of the city. This coincides with the City of Culture, as events will take place throughout the city.
Clearly, due to its impressive regeneration, Bradford is an up-and-coming area with fantastic capital growth potential. Most schemes are expected to be completed in 2024, meaning there is no better time to invest in Bradford.
Bradford is already home to a large, youthful population and proves a popular choice for commuting to Leeds. Because of this, rental demand is high. Now, with regeneration around more housing and offices, better transport, and improved public spaces underway, demand will grow alongside Bradford’s desirability. While improving its infrastructure, these projects are raising the city’s profile. Bradford will consequently become a destination city for not just residents but businesses and tourists, too.
Want to learn more? Read our Investor’s Guide to Bradford for more insight on the city’s low prices, rental market, and fast-growing population.
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