Powerhouse station campaign stays on track

The Chamber joined forces recently with Bradford Council and community representatives to demand commitment from government and Transport for the North for a Northern Powerhouse Rail station in Bradford city centre.

The campaign, Next Stop Bradford, highlight the benefits a Northern Powerhouse Rail (previously known as HS3) station in Bradford city centre will bring, not just to the Bradford economy but to the North as a whole.

A City Park photo-shoot shows leading figures from the region united in support of the campaign.

Andy Caton, President of Bradford Chamber of Commerce said:

Bradford President Andy Caton
Bradford President Andy Caton

“Access to talent is a high priority for any business looking to grow and invest. As a result, excellent connectivity is crucial to attract people to new and better jobs.  Siting a Northern Powerhouse Rail station in Bradford city centre makes sense not only for this city – putting, as it does, Bradford back on the main line – but for West Yorkshire generally.  The city has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, but transport connectivity and congestion remains a key issue for many businesses and residents. Trans-Pennine travel is as important to them as North-South.  We also have our close neighbours Leeds backing the campaign.”

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council added:

“With a prime location in the centre of the Northern Powerhouse, Bradford is home to over 17,000 businesses including market-leading companies such as Provident Financial and Yorkshire Building Society and thriving SMEs. Benefiting from a rapidly growing young population and outstanding Higher and Further education institutions, Bradford is continuing to re-invent itself as a world class destination to live, work and invest.”

“The strong message we will continue to voice is that the north simply cannot be successful without Bradford being successful and the time to invest is now.”

The launch of the campaign follows the remarks by Northern Powerhouse Minister, Andrew Percy MP, at the Inclusive Growth event which took place in the city earlier this month where he stated “If I had my way, Bradford would have a stop on Northern Powerhouse Rail”.  Further political support has also come from local politicians in the district, Philip Davies MP and Judith Cummins MP, who have both raised this issue in the House of Commons.

Local MP, Judith Cummins, who is supporting the campaign and raising the issue with government Ministers said:

“Leeds and Bradford have the largest daily commuter flows between two cities anywhere in the country and contribute a combined £29.2bn in GVA to the national economy. As an economic powerhouse in its own right, it is unacceptable that connectivity between the two cities remains hampered by poor transport infrastructure.”

Photo-caption:  Chamber Chief Executive, Sandy Needham, was joined by, among others, Bradford and Leeds Presidents Andy Caton and Gerald Jennings; Leadership Group member Nasreen Karim and Broadway Centre manager Ian Ward;  in the forefront are (L-R) Cllrs Susan Hinchcliffe, Alex Ross-Shaw and Simon Cooke.