Bradford. From the cradle of manufacturing technology in the 19th century, to the cradle of digital technology for the 21st century, our youth and diversity is an economic, creative and cultural strength.
Our district has 17,000 businesses including more FTSE 100 companies than any other north of England city. From the best beer and curry in the country, to the world's turbo chargers, to breakthrough technologies that help to manage chronic pain, we have something for everyone . We have a strong service sector and community ethos that works together to make Bradford a great place to live and work.
As the youngest city in the UK, we are investing heavily in skills for the future by providing the right training at every level for the significant sectors of our economy, and Bradford University and Bradford College are positioning themselves as exemplars in their field.
And on top of this, we have competitive house prices and good schools in attractive areas meaning a move to Bradford brings a very high standard of living at an affordable price.
With partners across the district we have signed up to a collaborative approach to encouraging people who live in the district to work in the district and those that don’t to see that Bradford is a place you would want to be part of.
We are, and always have been, a Producer city - we create, make and trade. We are extraordinary, energetic and enterprising and we are Bradford. Create the future with us.
Bradford is an extraordinary, energetic and enterprising place.
The Bradford Metropolitan District covers an area of approximately 141 square miles, stretching across Airedale, Wharfedale and the Worth Valley as well as Bradford city and the towns of Bingley, Ilkley, Keighley and Shipley. The district’s many other communities include Addingham, Baildon, Burley in Wharfedale, Cullingworth, Denholme, Eastburn, Eccleshill, Haworth, Menston, Oxenhope, Queensbury, Silsden, Steeton and Thornton.
Although the Industrial Revolution transformed Bradford from a rural market town to an international trading centre and the ‘wool capital of the world’ - today over 70% of the district is clean, green, open space.
The city of Bradford is situated on the edge of the West Yorkshire urban conurbation, the wide open spaces of Baildon Moor and Rombalds Moor are close by, the wild Pennine moors around Haworth and the Bronte Country lie immediately to the west, and Ilkley Moor, of the Yorkshire anthem ‘Ilkla Moor baht ‘at’ fame, is the gateway to the stunningly beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Bradford is located at the centre of the UK, with the M606, a spur off the M62 motorway, connecting it to the national motorway network. It has direct rail connections to London, and Leeds Bradford Airport is just six miles from the city centre.
Bradford District features over 4,000 listed buildings. The impressive Victorian architectural heritage includes City Hall, the hub of the Council with its Italianate clock tower; the Wool Exchange in the heart of the city centre; and the hidden delights of Little Germany close by. Manningham Mills and the industrial ‘model village’ of Saltaire, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are other reminders of the district’s industrial legacy. While that Victorian past is celebrated, Bradford – city and district – is a thriving modern place to live, work and play.
Globally connected and at the heart of Northern England the District has a rich and varied mix of cultures, languages and communities and a wide range of cultural and leisure assets.
Over a third of people are from ethnic minorities with many maintaining international links and trading relationships. The geographic diversity of our communities ranges from urban inner city and outer suburbs and estates to towns and rural villages.
We work in close collaboration with partners across sectors, agencies and communities to maximise the impact of all of the district’s assets and resources on achieving and sustaining priority outcomes and building resilience.
Economy and Regeneration
Bradford is the fourth largest metropolitan authority in England with a half a million plus population and an economy worth more than £9.5billion, while a thriving voluntary and community sector makes a significant contribution to the wellbeing, resilience and prosperity of our people and communities.
Bradford is enterprising, energetic and extraordinary – it’s the youngest city in the UK with nearly three-quarters of its population under 16.
There are 17,620 businesses employing nearly 200,000 people and the city houses the headquarters of Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Yorkshire Building Society, Provident Financial Group and Hallmark Cards and is home to more FTSE 100 companies than any other city in the North.
The city centre has been transformed with the opening of a £260m Westfield shopping centre and construction is underway on more shops, restaurants and a Light cinema.
Another notable addition to the city centre is Sunbridge Wells Tunnels, an underground complex of redeveloped old Victorian tunnels and buildings housing shops, bars, restaurants and even a brewery.
Key digital innovation initiatives have emerged in Bradford including the Digital Exchange, the Digital Catapult Centre and the Advanced Digital Institute.
The multi award-winning City Park represents the most significant investment in the continuing regeneration of Bradford. This flexible public space is home to the Mirror Pool, the largest urban water feature in the UK; a beautifully lit fountain light and laser display; and a thunderous 100ft water jet. It also hosts an events programme which has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city centre.
The council has secured its first step towards £2 million in Heritage Lottery Fund Townscape Heritage programme to make improvements to the ‘Top of Town’ area.
Arts, Culture and Sport
The city has never looked back since being named the world’s first UNESCO City of Film in 2009. Film-makers and TV companies flock to the district to shoot period and contemporary dramas like To Walk Invisible, DCI Banks and The Syndicate. The corridors of power in Bradford’s Grade 1 listed Venetian-style City Hall have been used to film scenes for the soap operas Coronation Street and Emmerdale as well as for dramas like Room at the Top and National Treasure.
The city has long been home to the National Science and Media Museum, which houses an IMAX cinema, restaurant, galleries and an exhibition space and is the country’s largest visitor attraction dedicated to photography, broadcast media and the internet
Bradford has been crowned Curry Capital of Britain for the last six years and the district has a vibrant mix of restaurants.
Bradford also boasts the magnificent Alhambra Theatre which attracts top class productions its neighbours can’t get due to its deep stage.
It has recently attracted top West End productions like Mary Poppins, The Lion King and Billy Elliot. Productions coming to the Alhambra this year are Matthew Bourne’s production of Red Shoes, Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl, and War Horse.
Art by Bradford-born David Hockney graces the 1853 Gallery at Salts Mill and sits alongside Francisco Goya, William Blake and Andy Warhol at Cartwright Hall Museum and Art Gallery.
This year we will celebrate David Hockney’s 80th birthday with a brand new permanent gallery opening at Cartwright Hall.
This year the gallery also hosts the Splendours of the Sub-Continent: A prince’s tour of India 1875-6 an exhibition, which contains beautiful objects from the Royal Collection, telling the story of the grand tour of the Indian Subcontinent made by the Prince of Wales (later King George VII). The exhibition runs until 18 June.
The Impressions Gallery in City Park is one of the leading independent venues in the country for contemporary photography.
Culture and history rub shoulders at Bradford Industrial Museum, the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth, Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley, and nearby East Riddlesden Hall. Bingley’s Five-Rise Locks staircase, the most spectacular feature of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and the steam engines of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway offer another look back at the district’s industrial past.
The Tour de Yorkshire, an international professional cycle race showcasing Yorkshire to the world, is coming to Bradford. The third and final stage of this exciting event starts from City Park in the centre of Bradford on Sunday April 30.
Our award winning Roberts Park in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Saltaire will this year host a three day Dragon boat Festival across the weekend of 5,6 and 7 May.
The Bradford Literature Festival returns to the city centre from June 30 to 9 July and is followed by the Bradford Festival (28-30 July) showcasing the best of arts and culture in the city.
The last big party of the summer comes to the district in the form of Bingley Music Live (1-3 September). This year’s headline acts include Manic Street Preachers, Kaiser Chiefs, Wombats, Feeder and Soul II Soul.
Bradford is a truly surprising place!
|Visit Bradford Guide|