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“Bradford must be the UK’s number one levelling-up priority”, new prospectus underlines

The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has today launched its new Levelling-up Prospectus created with social value and economic advisory support from Jacobs. The newly-launched Prospectus underlines why Bradford District is the primary national priority area for levelling-up investment, and how delivering upon this opportunity could benefit wellbeing, resilience, and prosperity from a local through to a national scale.

The new Prospectus demonstrates how the district is primed to act as a national testbed and ‘pilot’ a programme of Levelling-Up Investment Areas. Through a series of projects and aspirations that would strengthen social, environmental and economic outcomes across the District, the report demonstrates why Bradford is pivotal in achieving the Government’s national ambitions of levelling-up.

Two strategic areas are highlighted: the Southern Gateway, which through a Levelling-Up Investment Area approach could deliver a £30bn+ GVA uplift over ten years and create 27,000 new jobs; and Bradford South, which at present is largely undeveloped and offers prime opportunities for the development of housing, sustainable transport and sustainable energy provision.

The district wide levelling up ambition is also demonstrated in Keighley and Shipley’s significant Towns Fund plans. Work also progresses with partners to build state of the art infrastructure to improve health outcomes for people across the district.

The opportunity for the District when Levelling-Up Bradford District’s performance against socioeconomic metrics to the UK average is:

  • £2.6bn additional economic output (GVA) per year (GVA per hour worked)
  • £3k per worker average increase in annual income per worker (Gross Weekly Earnings)
  • £1.6bn annual increase in life satisfaction (income-equivalent terms)
  • £1bn annual increase in life expectancy (income-equivalent terms)
  • £1.6bn total value of the increase in qualifications (additional earnings over lifetime and wider spillover benefits)

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, said: “Bradford has a strong and growing entrepreneurial economy with a young and future-ready population, and so we’ve known for a long time that the District offers incredible investment, business growth and employment opportunities.  Our newly-launched prospectus underlines how we can catalyse this through levelling-up investment to unleash the potential of our vibrant, young, creative and globally-connected economy.

“The opportunity is vast – not only for our District, but for the wider UK economy. Government investment in Bradford, supported by strong private sector backing, would not only equip our District to prosper; it would go a considerable way to helping realise national ambitions to level-up the country, acting as a testbed for delivering in areas such as job creation, GDP growth and urban regeneration.”

Kersten England, chief executive officer at the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, also commented: “As a national testbed for Clean Growth, Bradford District is creating thriving, sustainable and resilient communities. The District is also a creative powerhouse heaped in cultural assets and home to a young and vibrant community set to fuel the workforce of the future – all meaning that the area has incredible potential.

“Public investment will be critical in enabling our long-term ambitions for regeneration and growth across the District, creating the conditions to provide residents with opportunity and businesses with the talent and skills they need to prosper.”

Emily King, Global Technology Leader – Social Value Advisory at Jacobs, also commented: “At Jacobs, transforming society for good is at the heart of what we do. By delivering solutions that create a lasting legacy, we can help reverse societal trends associated with entrenched inequalities. Bradford represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the power of targeted levelling up investment to help cities and regions realise their economic potential, enabling people, communities and businesses to thrive.”

The launch coincides with the Bradford 2025 delegation travelling to London to make the case for Bradford to win the UK 2025 City of Culture title. Aligned with ambitions to regenerate and grow the District’s economy outlined in the Levelling-Up Prospectus, Bradford’s dynamic cultural sector and the City of Culture bid offer further potential to pursue opportunities, catalyse growth and generate prosperity across the District for future generations.




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