Amir Hussain of Yeme Architects, speaking at Bradford Property Forum
Property Forum hears latest figures show only around 5,000 choose to be at heart of city
Concerned businesses say Bradford is facing a challenge to attract more people to live in the city centre.
The area's rich heritage and quality architecture is being under-sold when it comes to urban living, and the city has the opportunity to deliver more high-quality premises.
The last ten years or so has seen the proliferation of residential conversions in Bradford and neighbouring town centres. Not all of them have been successful, but business leaders say there is the potential to meet some of Bradford’s housing shortage, assist local businesses operating in this sector, and boost the local economy.
Bradford Property Forum, run by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, discussed the topic at a recent breakfast event, where delegates were told that more high-quality design and development would help the city’s fortunes. This could be augmented by further improvements around health and well-being amenities and leisure facilities.
The meeting showed that there is a clear desire for city centre living, with the current total of residents now five times higher than at the turn of the century (though still only around 5,000). However, there is a distinct lack of families, with the majority of dwellers being young, single people.
The breakfast event, held at Bradford City Football Club, was facilitated by the Property Forum chairman, Allan Booth of Rance Booth Smith architects, who said: “Questions around urban living in Bradford have been circulating among the property sector for some time now: who lives there? What jobs do they do? Who’s looking to invest? What are the good and bad examples of recent residential conversions and how do we raise values and returns on future schemes?"
Speakers at the meeting were Nav & Hass Mir, Locate Properties; Dave West, Little Germany Action; Amir Hussain, Yeme Architects