New research from Mace has revealed that the construction of a new hub railway station in Bradford city centre could provide an economic boost of £1.5bn a year to the local economy.
The research, conducted by senior ex-Treasury economist Chris Walker, examines the impact of building a new rail hub in Bradford city centre as part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail line to improve east-west connectivity from Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds and Hull.
Using data on the growth experienced in Birmingham following the construction of the new Birmingham New Street Station – completed in 2015 and delivered by Mace on behalf of Network Rail – the report explores how securing a Northern Powerhouse Rail hub in the centre of Bradford could transform the local economy, create jobs and unlock housing and business growth.
Mace estimate that based on the model of Birmingham New Street, a city centre station in Bradford as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail could add a £1.1bn-1.5bn a year economic uplift to the local and Northern economy and create over 1,000 local jobs.
The “Bradford Bonus” report was launched at a workshop hosted by Mace Group in partnership with City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Key transport leaders from both organisations were joined by Transport for the North, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
In the context of the report, the group assessed the economic and social opportunities in the city and how NPR could have a catalytic effect for inward investment, access to labour force and housing growth.
Lisa Bowden, Head of Infrastructure in the North at Mace, led the discussion at the workshop and said: “Using Mace’s experience of delivering the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station, London 2012 Olympic Games, and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) we know how transformational new transport infrastructure can be to a city.
“For Bradford, direct connections across the North will mean more investment coming into the city and residents will greatly benefit from the regeneration this will kick-start across the district whilst also supporting the wider economic contributions to the North’s economy.
“Mace is backing Bradford’s campaign for Northern Powerhouse Rail as we believe this is a truly once in a generation opportunity to change the city for the better, boosting economic growth, supporting the regeneration in the city and supporting the young and dynamic residents and businesses that call the city home, both now and in the future.”
Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning & Transport at City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council said: “It is fantastic to see a major international employer get firmly behind Bradford’s campaign for Northern Powerhouse Rail and recognising the enormous potential it has to transform our city centre and the North as a whole.
“This independent report complements the Council’s own economic research released earlier this year and further adds to the case for why Bradford must be included on the NPR network.
“We are working with Transport for the North and other transport partners in the region to continue building the economic case for a city centre station. Equally, we are working with residents and businesses to understand what this could mean to them and where they choose to live or work, creating a legacy for the next generation and ensuring they have the means to create and live a prosperous life.”