By Aalia Khan

The much awaited and highly anticipated Westfield’s The Broadway Bradford shopping centre has gradually made progress this year. After a turbulent and troublesome history, January 2014 finally saw construction work beginning on the site, with construction in the months that followed. As of November 2014, construction work is coming to an end.

We take a look back at the development of the Broadway Bradford in 2014, from start to present. Here’s a little history: In 1998 the Forster Square Development Partnership was established between Magellan Properties, Caddick Developments and the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

Broadway 80s

They planned a 51,096 m² (550,000sq ft) shopping centre containing Debenhams, BHS, C&A, Marks and Spencer and 100 shops and other leisure facilities.The partnership sold it to Stannifer which was bought out by the Westfield Group in December 2004.

Broadway 80s 2

Planning permission for the development was approved on 10 September 2003 with the claim that 3,000 new jobs could be created. Demolition on the Forster Square site started on 18 March 2004 and by mid-2006 the site was empty apart from a large pile of rubble. It was originally hoped that the complex would be open by late 2007 (with construction commencing in early 2006)but with a lack of anchor tenants and with many workmen still working on Westfield Derby, the start date for construction was pushed back.

BUG 2The delays led to Bradford Council threatening to take back control of the site from Westfield, if progress wasn’t made. Boarded shops on Broadway on the fringes of the development, the current hole in the city has left shops in this area somewhat isolated. Between 2010 and 2013, much of the site was turned into a temporary urban park. The urban park was demolished in January 2014 as work began on the shopping centre.

Nov 2014 (2)The shopping centre is due to open in December 2015 and Shoppers can expect many retail shops in the centre, including; Debenhams, M&S, Next, River Island, Top Shop, New Look, Sainsbury’s and Samuels. Most recently, last December, four more retailers have signed up, these are;Khaadi, a Middle-Eastern fashion and home retailer, opticians Vision Express, jewellers Goldsmiths and Asian food outlet Yangtze. 2015 brings high hopes for The Broadway Bradford as interior design work will begin, retailers will start to move into their allocated stores and shoppers may be able to commence their 2015 Christmas shopping in the centre.

Here’s hoping Bradford Westfield opens this year.