The company have also stated that the development already has retailer commitments for more than 50% of its floor space, with the new announcement of Topshop, Topman and Sainsbury’s taking up occupancy in the centre.
The retailers will join Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next, River Island, H Samuel, Ernest Jones, W H Smith, Vodaphone, Phones 4 U and more to still be announced.
The new centre is expected to open its doors in time for the Christmas period in 2015, with an estimated 1,500 construction jobs and 2,500 new retail jobs created in Bradford.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I am delighted to hear of the implementation of the £260 million Broadway Project. Projects like these stand as a great example to others to show that the regional growth fund has been used to attract the necessary private sector investment to deliver significant and positive change in our cities. Westfield has delivered on its commitment to help regenerate Bradford and to build the Broadway scheme, contributing to the Government’s growth agenda in the UK.
“We welcome the commitment Westfield has shown in the UK with its previous regeneration work having invested £3.5 billion and created 25,000 new UK jobs already, and we look forward to the realisation of its plans for a further £2.5 billion to be invested in the UK which we understand will create a further 14,000 new UK jobs.”
Westfield also announced that it has completed the sale of its interest to pan European retail real estate investment manager Meyer Bergman.
Meyer Bergman acquired the scheme as the initial investment for its second value-add fund, Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners II.
The fund completed the purchase of the Bradford site with co-investment from two major Canadian pension funds, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and AIMCo,
Together they appointed Westfield to develop, design, construct and lease the project. Once the development is completed, Westfield will also act as the property manager for the centre.
Michael Gutman, Westfield Managing Director UK/Europe and New Markets said: “Westfield is delighted to announce the start of construction having remained steadfastly committed to delivering the Bradford development following cessation of work in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis.
“Westfield has worked intensively with Bradford Council, the Government and Meyer Bergman to attract new retailers, create new jobs and ensure that this development is built for the city and the people of Bradford.”
Councillor David Green, Leader of Bradford Council said: “This is an important day and marks a very significant step forward for Bradford city centre. Since 2010 we have supported investment in the city centre, including establishing the growth zone, constructing City Park and working with Westfield to ensure this shopping centre becomes a reality.
“Major retailers have now confirmed their strong confidence in Bradford city centre and its potential to become the shopping destination for local people and the wider area. The Broadway shopping centre will create many new jobs for Bradford and support the whole city centre and existing businesses by increasing footfall in the city. We are working with Westfield to also maximise benefit to local businesses during the construction phase. We know there is still a lot to do to take forward the rest of the city centre, as we recognise in the City Plan. We will continue to work with local businesses and investors to strengthen Bradford’s economy.”