BRADFORD has been named by The Sunday Times as one of the 20 best places for doing business in the UK.
The city came in 15th on the paper’s best places for business 2020 guide, beating Newcastle, Glasgow, Sheffield, Belfast and Nottingham.
Judges hailed Bradford’s £10.1bn economy and young population, and mentioned that start-up founders are attracted by low commercial rents, good transport infrastructure and fast broadband.
The Sunday Times also states that “recent years have seen regeneration sweep through Bradford” and that “a range of redevelopment projects are part of a programme to add an extra £4bn to the economy by 2030”.
Bradford Council’s chief executive, Kersten England was noted as a key influencer and the authority’s financial support schemes for small businesses were also highlighted.
The guide by the Sunday Times also details a list of who to watch, including start-ups, scale-ups and and inspirations.
The start-ups are Incuto, a firm which develops software for credit unions and community banks; Tarte & Berry which bakes and delivers artisan cakes, pastries and flapjacks to bakeries and coffee shops; and Power Sheds, which was founded last year and offers “stress-free shed shopping”.
The scale-ups are Advanced Supply Chain, a businesses which grew out of the textiles industry, offering supply chain services to retailers; and Bunton Plant Hire, an expanding family-run firm which provides high-spec machinery.
The influencers are Kersten England, the chief executive of Bradford Council, who has forged close links with local business leaders to help create a distinct identity for the city; Zahir Irani, a pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Bradford with a remit that includes innovation; and Ian Mann, who founded ECSC, one of Britain’s first cyber-security service providers.
The inspirations are Sir Ken Morrison, the late retail tycoon, who built Morrisons into one of Britain’s biggest supermarket companies; Samuel Lister, the industrialist who towers over Bradford with Lister Mills dominating the city’s skyline.
In terms of where to watch, the guide highlights the One City Park development in the city centre which will bring office space to the business quarter; and the Digital Health Enterprise Zone at Bradford University, a collaboration between students, researchers, businesses and health professionals.
Last year Bradford was named the most improved city in the UK to live and work by PwC, and in 2018 the city was hailed the best city in the UK to start a business by analysts from Barclays bank.
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “We are very pleased to see that once again Bradford is being tipped as a great place to do business. Our growth schemes have been very successful in helping businesses create hundreds of new jobs and our broader economic strategy has been designed to create the right environment for businesses to flourish.”