By Ninder Kaur
Bradford’s efforts to revitalise its city centre has been recognised in an annual Great British High Street competition.
North Parade has been named as one of the best city locations to reach the finals of a competition organised by the Department
for Communities and Local Government to celebrate those cities that have made great progress in rejuvenating their high streets.
The public have been encouraged to vote for the winning city which would receive up to £50,000 worth of prize money to go back into the city centre.
Businesses have been offered incentives through the City Centre Growth Zone funding scheme which has so far created 319 full-time jobs and 110 part-time jobs in the city centre since November 2012.
The city centre growth zone scheme offers rates relief to those businesses who have created jobs within the defined zone.
This has led to a boom in cafes, restaurants and bars all over the city, but particularly in North Parade, which has been an additional boom to shoppers, as well as boosting the evening economy.
Bradford was also designated one of the first Healthy High Street cities in the country.
This involves businesses such as Marks and Spencer, Boots, Santander, EE, Greggs and Specsavers, working with the Council to increase footfall and restore pride in the city.
The partnership helped get many retailers involved in the Bradford Festival, which resulted in encouraging more visitors with spending power into the city centre.
In addition, the Council has spent nearly £10m on public realm works over the past three years, improving pathways and street furniture to enhance the city centre environment and encourage more shoppers to come here.
If successful in the competition, dedicated support and mentoring from industry experts will be offered which could range from one-to-one coaching to advice on digital marketing.
High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said: “We had a record amount of high-quality entries to this year’s competition – testament to the pride local people have and brilliant work being done to boost Britain’s high streets.
“The local high street is the life and soul of many towns, villlages and cities across the country and these awards are a great opportunity to not only celebrate those that are the best of the best, but also to help others learn their valuable tips for success.
“If you cherish the hard work going on in Bradford, then show your support and get voting.”
Coun David Green, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “I’m pleased our hard work with businesses to regenerate the city centre has been recognised and we urge the public to get behind us and vote for North Parade.”
There are seven separate categories in recognition of the diversity of Britain’s high streets: City Centre; London; Town Centre; Market Town; Coastal Community; Village and parade of shops.
To go online and cast your vote, visit the Great British High Street website and tweet using the hashtag #TheGBHighSt.