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Bradford looks to create a 'positive spiral of growth' to meet ambitions

22nd November 2016

CREATING a "positive spiral of growth" that can be sustained and shared by everyone in Bradford was the ambition set out for the city by the chief executive of the council.

Kersten England was among the speakers at Barclays' Bradford: Invest to Grow seminar at Bradford Town Hall, which was attended by business and political leaders from across the district.

The bank has long had a strong presence in the city, with its Bradford branch once renowned for being the busiest in the country helped by the wealth generated from the textile trade.

Ms England said: "For sustainable growth in our economy we know we have got to tackle the educational attainment issue in this district.

"We are doing all the right things around science, transport and housing - albeit with it some setbacks and difficulties around the demand and profitability - but I think for this economy to be sustainably growing strongly we have got to equip young people with the skills for the economy of the future."

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, the leader of Bradford Council, described Bradford as a "big, bold and beautiful city" and reminded the audience of "the power of business to do good".

She added: "This is about invest to grow, but inclusive growth is the thing we are all talking about these days. It's been a really seismic year - not just for this country, but for the whole world. We've had Brexit, and then Trump and all that has really sent a loud message that there is a whole swathe of society that feels disconnected from the economic prosperity that many of us have enjoyed.

"Growth in the future has to be about being inclusive, so that everyone feels the benefits, otherwise they feel disconnected from that and we cannot move forward as a society."

The event, hosted by TheBusinessDesk.com's editor Alex Turner, also heard from North of England Excellence chief executive Andrew Palmer and Yorkshire Building Society's Andy Caton.

Mr Palmer, speaking about the Northern Powerhouse and the effect of devolution, encouraged Bradford to "understand what we do well", adding "it is better to build on strengths than hope".

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