Economic Growth Strategy



Globally connected and at the heart of Northern England, Bradford district has an economy worth in excess of £9.5 billion, with 17,000+ businesses and is forecast to grow by more than 25% over the next ten years.

With this in mind we are seeking to maximise growth and raise the district’s economic productivity in ways that benefit our communities and businesses. 

The Council is working with Producer City partners to develop a new Economic Growth Strategy for Bradford district that will focus on identifying the actions that will bring the most benefit to Bradford’s economy. 


The strategy will build on previous commitments and the District Plan, reflect more recent local and national developments, including Brexit, and harness strong local and regional partnership working including that at a West Yorkshire and Leeds City Region level. 

The Producer City’s response to the government’s Industrial Strategy consultation focused on the importance of a place based approach to growing the nation’s economy, and this economic growth strategy will develop just that: a locally specific approach to growing the district’s productivity and wealth.

The strategy will include an economic narrative, key opportunities that the district offers and areas of focus for delivery. We will be seeking a balance between the foundations of an economic strategy that will be important in any major northern city, and the specific opportunities that Bradford can grasp. 

Inclusive growth will be woven through the strategy. Links to education, the developing digital strategy and our branding to attract investment will be critical, as will those to the work being undertaken around the district’s future transport connections.  A shared section in common with Leeds Growth Strategy will be developed to help identify the synergies between the two cities, and the scope for future joint activity.

Insight and engagement

Metrodynamics were commissioned to produce an intelligence base to underpin the strategy and their final analysis is on the top right hand corner of this page.

A programme of engagement has completed. Liaison with many key stakeholders both within and outside the district has been intensive and has included the People and Innovation Board, Bradford Breakthrough, Chamber related groups including the Property Forum, Leeds City Region Directors of Development, Producer City Board, as well as with Council staff. This networking activity has given valuable insight into the development of the content for the strategy.

In addition, a series of high profile workshops were held over the summer and hosted by our partners and business associates including Yorkshire Building Society, Exa Networks and Keighley College. Designed to build engagement in the strategy, develop the focus of the actions at its heart and generate buy in and commitment these workshops focused on:

  • What the evidence tells us.
  • Our globally connected city and district.
  • Bradford’s young and future economy.
  • Bradford in the North.
  • Leeds / Bradford – growing together.
  • Sector strengths and opportunities.
  • The aspirations of young people.

Feedback from all the workshops is available on the top right hand corner of this page.

Economic Growth Strategy survey

A short survey designed to help test Bradford residents' perceptions of the economic climate in the district has now been completed.

This asked respondents about their own personal economic circumstances, their views on Bradford’s economy and how they saw the district’s future economic prospects. In the main, respondents to the survey were largely satisfied with their own personal current economic circumstances. However, this compares to a more negative general view on the current performance of and future prospects for the district economy, and a more pessimistic view of their own future economic circumstances.

Draft Strategy

A framework draft for the strategy has been produced and was shared in July. It has brought together analysis and engagement inputs and has tried to capture all that has been heard from the workshops outlined above rather than filter it. The framework offers some targets and additional economic narrative based on the Metrodynamics analysis. It has provided a basis for further conversations including some engagement with young people, and has given a framework for developing the content and format further around the following themes:

Our young and enterprising population.

Our distinctive offer.

Our growth potential.

Our globally connected district.


Progress on the emerging strategy was shared with the Producer City Board in September. Reporting to Executive will take place in October, with a view to firming up focus and delivery. The report to Executive is on the top right hand corner of this page. Following continued refinement the strategy will have sign off by the Producer City Board in December. 

Ideas are currently being brought together for a public launch to follow.

These pages will be updated with further details as the strategy develops.

For further information please contact:

Krystyna Lyons, Programme Mananger in the Office of the Chief Executive at Bradford Council:

Bradford Economy

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