Next Stop Bradford Strategy – Bringing Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to Bradford City Centre

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Next Stop Bradford Strategy - Bringing Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to Bradford City Centre

Key Points:

Bradford is taking the necessary steps to ensure it is NPR ready and has recently launched its NPR Growth Strategy setting out the economic and social case for bringing NPR to the city centre.

Connecting Bradford through NPR will drive the region’s growth adding a further £15.5bn to the Northern economy.

Securing NPR in Bradford will be the catalyst for creating 15,000 additional FTE jobs across the Leeds City Region, connecting Britain’s youngest city to the opportunities of the future.

NPR in Bradford would kickstart the regeneration of Bradford city centre, generating at least £61m in land value uplift returns by 2060 and greatly boosting the city’s inward investment potential.


What is the Bradford NPR Growth Strategy?

  • It defines the economic and social opportunities of NPR in Bradford as well as the opportunities it will bring to people living and working across the District.
  • It brings together the findings of the extensive evidence base and policy work which has already been developed to support the case for this investment. It also sets out the future work Bradford plans to undertake to ensure the city is NPR-ready, and the council’s aim to align all its strategies for the District to ensure it is maximising the vast opportunities this investment will bring.
  • It also brings the 100-hectare Southern Gateway area opportunity into the public consciousness and highlights the proactive strategic planning work Bradford Council is undertaking to ensure development opportunities in the vicinity of a potential NPR station are maximised.

What are the six key themes?

  • A better-connected Bradford is not just good for the city, it is an opportunity to create a more productive economic system across the whole of the North.
  • NPR in the city centre will act as a catalyst for new residential and commercial development and improved local infrastructure, delivered with a partnership led approach.
  • NPR is more than just faster, more efficient and frequent trains. It is about connecting people to opportunities, improving skills and building Bradford’s thriving business base after it was named by Barclays as the best place to start a business in 2017. With almost 25% of the Bradford’s population under the age of 16, its residents will make up a significant proportion of the region’s future workforce.
  • NPR will be most effective if it is seamlessly integrated with HS2 and improved local transport routes. It is not a choice of either or, investment in all three is essential.
  • High speed rail in Bradford city centre has the potential to transform Bradford’s brand, increasing its attractiveness as a place to visit, live, study and invest. It is about the impact it will have on brand Bradford as more people, following the likes of PwC and Channel 4, see the economic and social opportunities in the city, coupled with the outstanding quality of life through the Yorkshire Dales and the District’s cultural offer.
  • Ensuring Bradford has the best environment for growth, demonstrating how the Council and partners are putting in place the right delivery mechanisms, fostering a collaborative approach between the public and private sector and by exploring innovative approaches to funding.

The Bradford opportunity

  • Bradford has both the ambition and the capacity to grow and the Southern Gateway provides a clear opportunity to develop an integrated masterplan for this area of the city.
  • As one of the UK’s largest, youngest and most diverse cities, and with some of the most productive businesses in the North of England, the economic potential of Bradford is huge.
  • Investment in better connections to and from the city is not just about faster more efficient travel, it is about unlocking the economic and social opportunities for the whole Northern Powerhouse.
  • NPR in Bradford would transform Bradford as a place to invest, for more businesses to start-up and scale-up. It would enhance the attractiveness of Bradford as a place to live, acting as a catalyst for city centre regeneration as well as residential and commercial development.
  • Aligning with Bradford’s Economic Strategy will support the District’s ambition to become the UK’s fastest growing economy over the coming decade.
  • Investing in NPR would unlock housing growth across the Bradford district, providing residents with greater choice about where they choose to live and work, without the restrictions of poor transport connections.
  • Connecting the cities of Leeds and Bradford by NPR will reduce the journey time via train to 7 minutes, the same time it takes to travel from Waterloo to Oxford Circus via tube, and increase the frequency of services to support the 45,000 people commuting between the two cities each day.
  • With a regional population of over three million and some of the strongest economic growth rates anywhere in the North, an NPR station in Bradford city centre would help to further build the Leeds-Bradford economic powerhouse and their position as the “second city” to an increasingly overheated capital.
  • A city centre NPR station would generate an additional 656,000 trips annually to/from Bradford, significantly increasing the ‘reach’ of Bradford for the 17,000 businesses and 530,000 residents in the city.
  • More frequent and quicker journeys will help bring an end to the chaotic rush hour commute between Leeds, Bradford and Manchester, with current services experiencing severe delays and offering standing room only which causes misery for every day workers.
  • NPR in Bradford city centre could be the catalyst for accelerating the provision of up to 670,000 sqm of new commercial floorspace and circa 8,500 new housing units within the city centre.
  • Generating circa £61m in land value uplift returns by 2060, almost £200m in additional business rate returns by 2060 and circa £19m in additional Council Tax.
  • More frequent train services operating every 10 minutes will position an additional 2.2 million people within 60 minutes travel from Bradford city centre.

Call to action:

1. Show your support for Bradford’s ambitions by using the hashtag #NextStopBradford on social media and using @NxtStopBradford in Tweets.

2. Go online to the Next Stop Bradford website to find out more and pledge your support for the campaign.

3. Use these key messages when talking to government and transport decision makers and make the case that only an NPR station in Bradford city centre will have the once in a generation transformational impact.


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