By Ninder Kaur
Read on to find out about our exclusive sneak peak and what we think about the new centre.
The countdown to the Broadway Bradford shopping centre is on. The £260 million development, which is just a day away from opening, will be the largest UK retail centre to launch this year.
To get you all you eager visitors ready for the most anticipated opening in over two decades, we give you the run through as to what is happening on the day, so that you don’t miss out.
The Broadway Bradford has more than 70 shops across three main street malls. The centre is 90 per cent let but not all shops will open tomorrow. The centre boasts a number of stores including M&S, Debenhams, H&M, Next, Topshop, Schuh, Foot Asylum, Boots, Superdry, River Island and New Look. There will be a seven-unit food court and a range of nationally recognised restaurants including Patisserie Valerie, Taco Bell, Zizzi’s and Wrap Chic.
The official opening will take place at 10am, where Alexandra Burke will be taking part in a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the main street entrance in Little Germany.
The entrance features the famous William Forster statue, which has been placed there by Bradford Council. Visitors will also get the chance to see the 2009 X Factor winner perform.
Professor David Sharpe and Ajay Mahajan from the University of Bradford’s world-renowned Bradford burns unit will be opening Charles Street. Mr Ajay Mahajan, Director of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit said: “It is indeed a huge honour for us at the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research (PSBRU) to be invited to inaugurate the Broadway centre. It is our privilege to be in a profession that helps us deliver health care to the people and it is extremely gratifying when our work is recognised by the people. We at the PSBRU share a very special relation with the people of Bradford which is clearly reflected in this kind gesture.”
“The opening of the Broadway centre has been much awaited and it feels great to be part of this important event in the history of Bradford. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in bringing this project to fruition and I am sure that it will help change the face of Bradford city. We at the PSBRU are proud to be a part of this city,” he added.
As well as them, the world’s longest married couple Karam and Kartari Chand, who will cut the ribbon at the mall’s Market Street entrance.
Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale client, Sue Croston has been specially invited by Debenhams to open the department store. She said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be asked to do this in my hometown,a much awaited shopping centre for Bradford that is creating more jobs and putting Bradford back on the map for people to come and visit and shop. It has been a long wait but finally here. I’m feeling very proud.”
During the course of the day Bradford City FC will be holding a number of football skills demonstrations. They will be joined by South Asian arts organisation Kala Sangam who will be performing dance routines.
On Friday, a fashion catwalk will be taking place at various times from 11am to 6pm, showcasing the latest designs available in the centre’s shops. There will be a number of exclusive offers and vouchers available for the stores on the day as well.
A pop-up cinema will also be showing a range of Disney films for children at the weekend. The movies will begin at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Here, at Asian Sunday Newspaper we were given an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peek around the centre.
On site, there were floods of staff and builders in high visor jackets who were taking part in last minute fixtures, signs being put up and stock being laid out.
My first impression was- how are they going to get everything done before the grand opening?
There was last minute construction taking place, mannequins being dressed up, rewiring taking place, and there’s still the big clean up that needs to take place yet.
Duncan Bower, director of development at Westfield said the team are now working day and night to get the centre and its shops looking up and ready for the big day tomorrow.
“It’s around the clock,” he said, “There will be people working behind shop fronts and hoardings, there will be merchandise coming in in the evenings.”
With the centre 90 per cent let, car manufacturer Mini has taken on one of the empty units to open a ‘pop-up store’ while a permanent tenant is secured.
Mr Bower said it had been let for various reasons, but it hadn’t gone ahead. There are still a few units, which haven’t yet been taken, confirmed Bower.
It has also been confirmed, that once the centre is up and running, there are plans to renovate Arcade House into a number of restaurants and bars to increase footfall. This is expected to open in 2016.
The Broadway’s Christmas opening hours until December 23 will be Monday to Saturday from 9am to 9pm and Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
We can only hope that the Broadway Bradford is everything we all imagined it to be and more. We will look forward to seeing you tomorrow.