Fares, rail policy and DfT news

12.03.19

Bradford launches NPR growth strategy in bid to become ‘catalyst’ for northern economy

Bradford’s Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) Growth Strategy has been unveiled, setting out the city’s economic, social, and inclusive growth plans across Bradford and the north.

The strategy covers six main areas, and outlines how improved connections to Bradford city centre delivered through NPR will transform the UK’s youngest city and act as a catalyst for the economic system across the north.

Bradford Council, who wrote for RTM in April/May last year, unveiled the strategy at the property conference MIPIM, and builds on the launch of Transport for the North’s NPR business case last month, described as the “region’s single biggest transport intervention” since the industrial revolution.

The council’s leader, Susan Hinchcliffe, said at today’s launch: “Since launching our Next Stop Bradford campaign to bring NPR to Bradford city centre, we have ensured Bradford’s voice is at the heart of the NPR debate.

“This strategy is the next phase in our efforts to ensure Bradford is connected to a high-speed rail and it defines the economic opportunity for investors, developers and businesses as well as the opportunities it will bring to people living and working in the district.”

Hinchcliffe said the strategy was intended to build on current momentum in the Bradford economy, adding that the authority had launched it at the world’s largest property conference to demonstrate “the scale of opportunity and forge a collaborative approach with the private sector.”

Bradford’s connectivity with the rest of the north featured heavily in TfN’s strategic business case for NPR, with a new line between Leeds and Manchester via Bradford being proposed.

Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and chair of NP11, said that with 25% of Bradford’s population under 16, the opportunities high-speed rail will “go way beyond facts and figures.”

Marsh commented: “It will act as the catalyst for inclusive growth that means better jobs, more opportunity and an even better quality of life for the next generation.

“The LEP and West Yorkshire Combined Authority are backing Bradford’s vision set out in this NPR Growth Strategy and we will be working with investors, developers and wider business partners to ensure this is an opportunity we grasp with both hands.”

Northern Powerhouse Rail will be the hot topic of TransCityRail North this year when people from across the northern rail industry meet in Manchester in October. Click here to find out more.

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