BID team launches £2.5m plan for ‘positive and vibrant’ city

Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) has set out a five-year, £2.5m plan to make the city centre more positive and vibrant.

The strategy, presented to an audience of business owners and leaders at The Light cinema, was set out by Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) at the launch of its new Business Plan 2023-28.

The proposals include working with partner agencies to reduce street begging, rough sleeping and other antisocial behaviour; improving the look and feel of the city centre via schemes such as additional lighting, street dressing, floral planting and greening; projects to encourage further investment into the city centre; developing more major events or festivals; working directly with the City of Culture Team and partners to maximise opportunities in the lead up to, during and after 2025; and overseeing marketing and promotion activities to project the city centre to a far wider audience.

The BID’s first term will come to an end later this year and it will be launching a ballot at the end of August to secure five more years, running until the end of 2028.

Almost 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations will be asked to support the BID by voting “Yes” in the ballot which comes to a close on September 28, with the result announced the following day.

The BID is a limited not-for-profit company funded by a small levy on businesses and organisations within a specified area of the city centre. It is run by an operating board made up of representatives of all sectors and the levy take is used for projects to help promote and develop the city centre.

Introducing the new plan, Ian Ward, general manager of The Broadway shopping centre and chairman of the BID, said: “We hope our new Business Plan will show we are ready to build on our successes and help take Bradford up to, through and beyond our landmark year as UK City of Culture.

“Our vision is to build a city centre that is even cleaner and safer, that is dynamic, packed full of life and culture, that is prosperous and thriving.

“With new developments like One City Park, Bradford Live, Darley Street Market, the City Village and Transforming Cities projects such as the new Interchange station entrance and Hall Ings pedestrianisation, there is no more important time to have in place an organisation dedicated to ensuring that Bradford presents its best face to the world.

“The next five years will present a crucial opportunity to change our city’s culture and economy for the better, to create a new landscape for a brighter future.

“The new BID objectives, set out in this plan, have been brought together from an extensive consultation exercise and survey and many, many hours of conversation with levy-payers.

The BID’s objectives for the second term will focus on three key areas: creating a positive environment, making the city centre better for business” and generating a vibrant experience for all those who live, work, visit and enjoy their leisure time here.

BID manager Jonny Noble said: “We’ve learned a huge amount over our first five years and the BID has grown and matured so that our new Business Plan is much more strategic in its approach.

“We’ve had fabulous support from our levy-payers across all sectors of the city centre and I’d like to thank them for that – and for helping us to form this new approach and develop our thinking about the role the BID needs to play as the city moves forward between now and 2028.

“Our ambition as a team is to be totally fit for that purpose. We are proud to be the voice of businesses in the city centre and we want to continue to represent their needs as the city marches ahead.”

Bradford 2025 executive director Dan Bates will be the guest speaker at’s Exploring the City of Culture: Bradford 2025  lunch in Bradford on Thursday 21 September.