As someone who was born, and grew up in Bradford, it was sad to see the state it was in when I moved away. What was once the Odeon had been abandoned and become an eyesore. So I was pleased to hear that work had begun on repairing the building, with possible plans for it to become a live music venue.(Bradford does already have St George Hall but the venue is relatively small).
Of course the city centre has a few nice features, such as the entertainment complex with a Cineworld and various places to eat. Centenary Square has more places to eat or go for a drink. All this would have been a nice touch if there were more places to shop. When I left there were just a lot of indoor market stalls, pound shops and abandoned buildings because the rent was too high. The amount of shops worth buying anything from could be counted on one hand.
When I heard that a new shopping centre had been planned, I had mixed feelings. This could bring jobs to the area and give locals a place to shop, as many either bought goods online or travelled into Leeds, unable to find what they wanted to buy in Bradford.
The sceptical part of me wondered if the maybe more effort should be put into filling up the currently empty buildings. These are an eyesore when walking around the city centre. However, the development which seems to be well under way, has already provided temporary work in construction and promises to create many more permanent jobs in the retail and hospitality sectors.
Many retailers have already been confirmed, including a Burger King, (which the city centre has been without for a number of years now) Next, Debenhams and Yangtze. In total the centre will host more than 70 shops. Although some of the shops such as Boots, Topshop and KFC are duplicates of existing shops in the city centre, there will be a mix and new and already existing shops to Bradford.
Only time and the opening of the shopping centre itself will tell how successful it will be and whether it will attract shoppers to the city centre, but it all sounds like a positive step for the people of Bradford.