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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so there's been quite a lot of debate on some of the Bradford threads about what Bradford is, and where it's going. So why don't we have a thread to discuss just that.

Personally, I'm what might be described as a Bradfordian realist. I don't think Bradford has the potential to become as good as Leeds, Sheffield or Manchester. What I think it can definitely do, however, is become (and this is in no way denigrating) the 'Stockport of Leeds'.

Firstly, let me clarify.

One of the many complaints levelled against the present situation is that large numbers of Bradfordians, who are geographically nearer to Bradford than Leeds, choose to go to Leeds to shop. While I don't think is a problem on the macroscale, when we reach a point (as we almost have done) when for even basic items people are going to Leeds, we have a problem.

Bradford needs (like Stockport) to be able to accept that it doesn't qualify as a shopping destination compared to the larger neighbour, where you find places like Harvey Nicks/Selfridges etc. However, it should provide decently large retail space for most big high street brands, such as River Island, Miss Selfridge & Next, which Bradford currently doesn't-the few that are there are in fairly small units on Darley St, or in the Kirkgate centre.

If Bradford can do this, then people will at least have a reason to go there as opposed to going to Leeds, which is further away.

However, this obviously raises further questions about transport. Personally, I firmly support the Crossrail project, and the electrification of Leeds-Pudsey Bradford, giving regular services through the city. Coupled with new stations at Manningham & Laisterdyke, and potential electric extension to Halifax via Low Moor & Hipperholme, you've just put a large commuter area within reach of Bradford city centre.

Lastly, I think Bradford needs to have something to feel good about. At the moment the media paints a very negative picture of the city, which IMO is exaggerated, though the problems they talk about do exist.

One thing I think could help would be to bring Yorkshire CCC matches back to Horton Park Avenue. The Ground is mostly in tact, and wouldn't need too much work to bring it back up to standard. As we know, there is a huge cricket fanbase in Bradford, and this could be a fantastic opportunity to generate some civic pride, as well as making the CCC less Leeds-centric.

Another way of doing this would be to 'big up' the film industry in the area. As the first EU film city, Bradford obviously has something going for it. A City-Centre multiplex, coupled with a revamp of the Odeon & the NMM could create the image of a 'film city', which could help draw investment. Halifax as England's Hollywood? I've heard crazier things.

Thoughts?
 

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I agree that Bradford gets too much bad press. It also gets bad reviews from a lot of the locals too -part of the usual british thing of running your own place down/moaning which doesn't help :lol:
Some of the most obvious problems could only really be solved by spending a lot of money in the middle of this recession but there are some things that could be done. As far as image and theme is concerned perhaps more effort could be put into selling Bradford as a film location. I know it's been used in the past. Not just talking about Rita Sue and Bob too type films either -Bradford has lots of really interesting locations that could be used for all sorts.
 

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This does not take into account the recently announced spending cuts.

We need:
• More community activities and leisure facilities take people away from crime
• An Expanded CCTV network
• To Commence construction of the Westfield Shopping Centre
• To draw shoppers away from Leeds, by promoting Bradford to motorists by providing quick, cheap (or even free) safe parking.
• Link the M606 motorway which continues up the Aire Valley and meets up with the M65.
• Join the City Centre railway lines through crossrail
• Introduce direct express train service connecting Bradford to Leeds Bradford Airport
• Create a new Manningham Sports village with the existing Coral Windows Stadium the home ground for both Bradford Bulls and Bradford City
• Create state of the art training facilities for both Bradford City and Bradford Bulls at Odsal as part of the Odsal Sporting Village plan
• Restrict number of fast food restaurants in order to try and improve the problems with obesity.
• Refurbish Bradford Central Library and Wardley House (Ice Rink) with new cladding
• Start a local road surveillance programs to ensure the law is not broken and those who do break it feel the full force of the law.
• Install new Number plate recognition Cameras which have the ability to monitor speeds, driving and parking. Anyone found guilty of Illegal Driving should be heavily charged, with the money raised being reinvested into the Road network.
• More bins available in all streets
• Continue with the construction of City Park.
• Invest further in city’s recycling program and carbon neutral technology
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
City of Bradford, I have to say I agree with everything you've written there.

Though I'd add a need for a more intensive train service linking Bradford to Ilkley, Skipton, Leeds, Halifax & Huddersfield, a 'fast' service to Manchester & Liverpool and new stations at Low Moor, Manningham, Laisterdyke, Apperly Bridge & Hipperholme-to allow people to access Bradford centre.

The City Council needs to rebuild the centre, and needs a list of shops to build it up, places like:

Burton/Dororthy Perkins
Topshop/Topman
Next
River Island
Gap
H&M
HMV
TK Maxx
Primark
BHS
Sports Direct

etc. And not in a Retail Park-actually on a pedestrianised street.
 

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• To Commence construction of the Westfield Shopping Centre
Although something needs to be done, urgently, it's highly questionable whether Westfield is the right solution. Apart from the question of its viability, there's a strong possibility that it would just abstract traders and footfall from the rest of the city centre. An eyecatching cheaper alternative is needed. How about pedestranising and roofing over Market Street, Broadway and Bank Street?
• To draw shoppers away from Leeds, by promoting Bradford to motorists by providing quick, cheap (or even free) safe parking.
The Westfield site should have been turned into free car parking, not a stupid park. That might have stopped business bleeding away.
• Link the M606 motorway which continues up the Aire Valley and meets up with the M65.
Not a chance, ever. What is actually needed and deliverable is to extend the dual carriageway of Shipley Airedale Road all the way out to Shipley, or at least to stop turning Manningham Lane into a stupid giant traffic calming scheme.
• Join the City Centre railway lines through crossrail
Useful and deliverable, but at least fifteen years away from completion
• Introduce direct express train service connecting Bradford to Leeds Bradford Airport
Utterly impossible due to gradients. An extension of Leeds NGT might make sense, but local government isn't joined up enough to make that happen.
• Create a new Manningham Sports village with the existing Coral Windows Stadium the home ground for both Bradford Bulls and Bradford City
• Create state of the art training facilities for both Bradford City and Bradford Bulls at Odsal as part of the Odsal Sporting Village plan
Apparently sport is important to you. All right, you sport fans can pay for it all. Don't ask me for money kthx
• Refurbish Bradford Central Library and Wardley House (Ice Rink) with new cladding
What about access and footfall, when they will feel even more cut off from the city centre after the City Park is finished?
• More bins available in all streets
More *people* in all streets would be nice.
• Continue with the construction of City Park.
Well, they can hardly stop now :nuts:
 

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I'm probably going to cause a bit of controversy here...

Bradford has a beautiful city centre, if you strip back the layers of rubbish that have been piled on top of it. The almost uniform sandstone (?) buildings create a fantastic sense of continuity within the city. It's more akin to Manchester city centre than that of Leeds.

I think if Bradford stopped attempting to compete with Leeds and accept that the latter *is* the bigger, more important city, and offered something fresh that Leeds doesn't have it could once again prosper.

My solution then. City centre to city centre, they are 10 miles apart. Build a super-fast rail connection between them, no stops and it take between 5 and 10 minutes. It would be a free connection to encourage people to use it. Bradford could then rebrand itself as a part of Leeds city centre, only a few minutes wander away from the likes of Harvey Nichols and the VQ. I would then encourage independent retailers such as those found in Hatton Garden or Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter to open up. Give some incentive, tax breaks or similar, to do so in the first instance for the who's-going-to-blink-first factor.

Further to this, street markets, cafes, restaurants, should be given the same breaks just for a year or two.

Bradford also lends itself far better to museums and galleries, because of the building stock available there and its greater sense of history. Go hell for leather to attract Northern franchises of institutes such as V&A, British Museum, National Portrait et al. and this would restore pedestrian traffic, and hence retailer confidence in the city.

By creating a fast link between the cities centres, and treating them as extensions of each other I think the success of both can be guaranteed by the diversity they would offer. Leeds, as a high street and designer centre, with its reputation in the financial sector and communications, added to its excellent night life would continue to attract young folk to its uni, and new companies looking for a northern headquarter. Bradford would then initially trade off the back of Leeds' success but then create its own niche as an independent retailer haven, with an excellent cultural offering.

Hmm... that was longer than I thought to put into words!

Subliving.
 

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Bradford has a beautiful city centre, if you strip back the layers of rubbish that have been piled on top of it. The almost uniform sandstone (?) buildings create a fantastic sense of continuity within the city. It's more akin to Manchester city centre than that of Leeds.
The whole cityscape is jaw-droppingly amazing, and, as you say, it's ruined by people treating it as a giant midden. But what remains is a pathetic shadow of what once was. You can now rightly compare it to other cities like Glasgow, but once it was unique. That advantage is now lost forever, but the lesson of that huge mistake has not yet been learned.
Build a super-fast rail connection between them, no stops and it take between 5 and 10 minutes. It would be a free connection to encourage people to use it.
Hilarious! Money? Route? Engineering? We can all imagine fantasy solutions. Mine would be a Leipzig-style reconstruction of all the city centre's destroyed buildings, and replace 95% of the population with pod-people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Probably cheaper than your idea.
Go hell for leather to attract Northern franchises of institutes such as V&A
Bindun. Heroic attempts were made to establish the V&A in Listers Mill. [source] City of Culture bids too. The fatal flaw is that these ideas rely on Someone Else saying "Yes", when nine times out of ten they'll say "No".
Give some incentive, tax breaks or similar
Can't happen. The power to set business rates was taken away from local councils by the national government, and Bradford businesses have to pay the same rates as everyone else despite their localised decline in value -- which just accelerates the spiral of decline. Even if the City Region lobbied for and got the power to vary business rates, it would be a zero sum game with the money coming from Leeds businesses. Anyone see that as a good idea?
 

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Mhmm?
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^^

'How do you solve a problem like Bradford?'

This is what *I* would do. Didn't say it was possible or probable.

Subliving.
 

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This is what *I* would do. Didn't say it was possible or probable.
So, you're Master of the Universe of Imagination, with power to suspend the laws of physics and economics, and the best you can come up with to save Bradford is a free train?

We're doomed, apparently...
 

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You don't, you leave it to rot while Leeds continues to progress into the future!
:eek:hno:

Despite being from Leeds surely it would do a lot of wonders for the Leeds City Region / West Yorkshire if Bradford was to significantly improve imo to make West Yorkshire into a genuinely polycentric conurbation ala the Rhine Ruhr in Germany or Kobe - Osaka in Japan as opposed to lumping every development together in Leeds. Also if Bradford was to decline further then surely it could possibly effect Leeds itself in time through spread of problems across from Bradford into Leeds and wider perceptions of West Yorkshire which could treat Leeds and Bradford as one entity which could affect things like inward investment?

As for ways to improve Bradford surely as already mentioned on another threada there must be methods of finding a Unique Selling Point which it can exploit to the fulleset extent and not to rely overtly on possible pie in the sky ideas which would prove unrealistic.
 
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