By Aalia Khan
The Lord Mayor and Mayoress of Bradford council, along with council members and the press were all invited to the Westfield Construction site on 13 November to witness the tightening of the final bolt at the highest point of the building site.
This historic moment marked the proximity to the finishing line of the building work being completed at the Westfield site, and the inside decor to begin before shops and retailers can start occupying their spots.
Duncan Bower, Westfield Director of Development spoke to his watchful audience and said “It is a great day and the topping out of the building is another milestone in the progress of the shopping centre development.” He went on to add that the Bradford Westfield site is the largest retail development on site in the UK.
Bower acknowledged that a year ago public members were asking when the building work would begin on the site, and he could now proudly say “I think you will all agree that the construction progress has been truly outstanding.” He congratulated the Westfield construction team on their hard work and dedication and informed everybody that construction is virtually complete; “Cladding, roofing, mechanical and electrical services are well under way or soon to commence.”
Councillor Mike Gibbons, Lord Mayor of Bradford Council then took his position to tighten the final bolt as Mrs Elizabeth Sharp, Lady Mayoress of Bradford Council stood by his side. The moment was captured with pictures and a round of applause.
At the beginning of next year Debenhams and M&S will take position of their stores in the shopping centre. Other stores that will later join them are; Next, River Island, Top Shop, New Look, Sainsbury’s and Samuels. Many stores are waiting in the pipeline to grab a space at the Westfield centre.
Keith Whitmore, Westfield Head of Design and Construction said the design of the inside is well and truly underway, once the envelope is watertight they will begin the interior finishes. He said that there will be a mixture of stores from high end to low end as “It is good to have a retail mix to service all levels of the community.” Keith also acknowledged the level of support they have received from the council and the Bradford community, “I can’t remember another town where I’ve done a project like this and the support has been at the level that it has been from Bradford.”
Councillor David Green was also present to witness the historic moment and says he is really pleased with the development. He boldly stated that “There is now no scepticism about whether it’s going to happen, people are just really eager for it to open.”
The Lord Mayor and Mayoress both said they will definitely be shopping at the Westfield shopping centre once it is complete and they were “Honoured” to be a part of the fantastic topping out ceremony.
This was the last chance for press and council members to visit the site before Christmas and it was a fantastic opportunity to see the excellent progress that has been made since construction commenced in January this year. Bower informed that “The target remains for Christmas next year, but we will keep everybody appraised on the opening date.”