In a significant move towards revitalising the city centre, Bradford Council has unveiled its latest collaboration agreements with national partners at the UKREiiF real estate conference. The partnerships with Homes England, English Cities Fund, and UK Infrastructure Bank aim to accelerate regeneration efforts and foster the development of affordable housing across the district.
Under the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Bradford Council, Homes England, and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), over 7,000 potential new homes are set to be delivered across the district. This landmark agreement will not only unlock vital infrastructure and resources but also provide support to ensure the delivery of high-quality, affordable housing in key regeneration areas.
In another significant development, Bradford Council has entered into a pre-development agreement with Muse Places/English Cities Fund (ECF). This collaboration brings together Muse Places, Legal and General, and Homes England, the government’s levelling-up agency. The agreement kickstarts the detailed preparation work for the City Village Regeneration scheme, a transformative project that will bring up to 1,000 new homes to the heart of the City Centre. The scheme encompasses the former Kirkgate and Oastler Centre sites, marking a major milestone in the city’s regeneration journey.
Additionally, a third partnership has been established with the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB). This collaboration will see UKIB providing technical assistance and strategic advice on proposed rail investments and the landmark Southern Gateway regeneration project. With the expertise and support from UKIB, Bradford Council aims to explore various delivery and financing options to realise its ambitious regeneration plans.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnerships, stating, “Bradford is very much open for business, and we’re attracting a range of major national partners to help us achieve our commercial ambitions. With a quality housing pipeline in place, we are positioning Bradford perfectly for future growth.”
Kersten England, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, also highlighted the significance of the City Village project, stating, “City Village is one of our most significant developments, and we are delighted to have secured this partnership with ECF. The scheme will shape the future residential landscape of the city centre by delivering 1,000 new homes.”
The collaboration between Homes England and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority was praised by Mayor Tracy Brabin, who emphasised the positive impact it would have on housing targets across West Yorkshire. “With City of Culture 2025 on the horizon,” she said, “Bradford could become the shining beacon of ‘levelling up’ with its diverse population and exceptional economic growth potential.”
The strategic partnerships forged by Bradford Council demonstrate its commitment to transforming prime sites across the district and driving the regeneration agenda. With ongoing projects nearing completion and preparations underway for Bradford 2025, the city is poised for a bright and prosperous future.