With a thriving economy, blossoming cultural scene and the perfect mix of city and country living, Bradford has a lot to offer. Such huge potential is a big draw for investors, and is sure to further Bradford’s growing reputation as an investment hotspot. Here are just some of the reasons Bradford is attracting so much interest in 2016.
Located close to the Yorkshire Dales, the city of Bradford offers residents a fantastic combination of rural and urban living. The city is surrounded by pretty and historic villages such as Haworth, famous for being the home of the Brontë sisters, and Saltaire, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whilst the city itself is home to the picturesque Little Germany area, which showcases some of the most impressive architecture in the city, a legacy of the influx of German textile traders in the 1800s.
With a mix of families, cosmopolitan workers and university students, a population of 522,000 call the Bradford city region home. It’s a vibrant hub for younger people, providing an array of nightlife, as well as cultural and social experiences galore. Residents and visitors can spend an afternoon cheering on League One side Bradford City AFC or browsing around the latest exhibition at the Impressions Gallery.
Now you can even indulge in some serious retail therapy at Westfield’s latest offering, the impressive Broadway Shopping Centre, before heading out to the city’s wide-ranging restaurants, bars and clubs.
For a city entrenched in such an industrial history, Bradford also has a thriving cultural scene. Bradford is home to the National Media Museum, the UK’s first IMAX cinema and the star-studded annual Bradford International Film Festival. It’s even featured as the backdrop of numerous films, giving Bradford the title of UNESCO’s first City of Film back in 2009.
With one of the north’s premier theatre venues, the stunning Alhambra Theatre, the city also plays host to a range of theatre and live performances. From touring West End shows to comedy gigs, and ballet to music concerts. There is also a range of art galleries and museums in the area too for those that like the slower paced cultural activities.
If a good beer is your thing, the region has 96 microbreweries, the highest concentration in the country. And then there’s the food! The varieties of cuisines and restaurants that can be found in Bradford include the Michelin starred French restaurant Box Tree. The city also boasts the title of the UK’s Curry Capital and has done so for the last five years!
Thinking of heading to Bradford to take a look for yourself? Not a problem, the city has an abundance of transport links via road, rail and air.
Bradford is served by a highly-developed road infrastructure, linking to the M1, M62 and A1 (M) motorways. By rail, you can get to Leeds in just 20 minutes, Manchester in an hour, London in two. And with planned upgrades to the Northern Rail network there will be an extra 2000 train services each week by 2019.
But if you’re coming from a little further afield, you could fly into Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBIA), just 6 miles from the city centre! The airport underwent a major expansion in 2012, including the opening of an exclusive business lounge. It currently handles over 4 million passengers a year, flying to a wide range of European destinations and also offers three daily flights to Heathrow’s T5 – where you can connect to flights across the globe.
The ‘Producer City’, as Bradford is known, has a long industrial history and is centre for manufacturing, which has helped the city region build an economy worth £8.3 billion – the 8th largest in England! In fact, since 2008 economic growth has outstripped regional and national averages.
The city is home to a number of the UK’s leading companies, such as Hallmark Cards and Morrison Supermarkets. Bradford has also recently launched a £35 million initiative to support new enterprises and grow existing businesses, called the City Centre Growth Zone.
Another boost to the local economy is the £37 million broadband improvement scheme aptly named Superfast West Yorkshire. Currently in phase 2 of delivery and due to complete by end of 2018, this project will provide fibre optic superfast broadband to >98% of the region! This will give thousands of homes and businesses in Bradford access to faster broadband, which is sure to improve productivity and help drive economic growth even further.
Bradford’s Little Germany postcode is even one of the UK’s top 5 destinations for buy-to-let and currently offers twice the UK average for capital appreciation on property prices. In fact, in the past 12 months property prices in Bradford have risen by over 9%, according to statistics from Rightmove.
On top of that, it’s one of the most affordable places to purchase a property in the UK. Research from job site Adzuna.co.uk shows that for first-time buyers on average local incomes, 72% of homes in Bradford are within their reach financially.
With the growing development of the Northern Powerhouse, the city looks set for a continued period of growth, making now a great time to consider investing in Bradford.
If you like this article, then you might want to check out our 14 Reasons We Love Bradford as well.