More than £75 million committed to ongoing city centre regeneration projects

More than £75 million committed to ongoing city centre regeneration projects Image

MORE than £75 million is being spent to help make Bradford appeal to the ‘urban entrepreneurs’ of the future, Council leaders will be told next week.

The authority's Executive group will be given an update on the progress of a number of city centre regeneration projects when they meet at City Hall on Tuesday.

Top of the list is the latest with the restoration of the former Odeon Cinema, with members to receive an updated confidential report into the details of a proposed £12m Council loan to allow work on the building to proceed.

The report will give clarity on the “outstanding issues in respect of procurement, State Aid, and the powers under which the Council may lend.”

It adds that subject to the funding being secured, a planning application will be submitted in the Spring, with construction work planned for early 2019.

The report, which outlines financial estimates towards the projects from the Council's Capital Investment Plan for 2018-21, also gives an update on five other schemes designed to ensure that “Bradford remains a competitive and thriving city centre.”

Members will be told that design work is ongoing on the £9.4m relocation of Bradford's markets, with work also continuing on the £3m Top of Town redevelopment scheme, with work now beginning to bring forward the creation of a “vibrant, safe, and attractive ‘City Village'” in the area around Oastler Market and North Parade.

The report also gives updates on the £8.9m restoration of St George's Hall, on target to re-open by the end of the year, and the £17m Station Gateways project, aimed at revamping Forster Square by 2021 and redeveloping Bradford Interchange for possible inclusion on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network.

The group will also be told that work is continuing to market the £25.3m One City Park site, acquired in 2013, with a formal ‘invitation to submit proposals' process planned for early this year, targeting developers who have expressed an interest in the scheme, which has outline planning permission for Grade A office space.

The report states: “As a location for key sectors with identified future growth such as retail, business services and digital and creative industries, the city centre must play a vital role in our economy.

"Bradford needs to build on its existing strengths in further and higher education and to continue to expand its retail and leisure offer.

“The increasing use of automation and artificial intelligence in industry will see around one third of existing jobs disappear over the next twenty years and the emergence of what has been termed the ‘urban entrepreneur'.

"Cities and city centres in particular are where the majority of new jobs will be created. To compete, Bradford has to ensure it offers a liveable, vibrant and attractive place in which to attract and retain businesses and talent.”

Last Updated: 19/07/2019

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