Bradford Broadway: New £260m shopping centre opens
A new £260m shopping centre has opened in Bradford - more than a decade after construction first started on the site.
Work began in 2004, but halted in 2008 because of the global financial crisis, resulting in the site being dubbed the "Bradford hole" by some residents.
The 570,000 sq ft (53,000 sq m) Broadway Bradford now boasts more than 70 restaurants, cafes and shops.
Developers Westfield claim it will create 2,500 permanent jobs and boost footfall in the city by 40%.
Council leader David Green said the opening represented a "real landmark" for the West Yorkshire city.
"This is the shopping experience the people of this district deserve," he said.
The Broadway was officially opened by 2008 X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
Retailers include Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Next, Topshop and River Island.
Initial consent has also been granted for a six-screen cinema and a further 11,500 sq ft (1,070 sq m) of restaurant space.
Duncan Bower, director of development at Westfield, said the opening followed "many years of hard work".
He said: "The Broadway will not only bring a vibrant new retail centre to Bradford, but it will also deliver a significant boost to the local and regional economy whilst continuing to attract additional inward investment for the city's regeneration."
Mr Green said the shopping centre had already attracted hundreds of millions of pounds in investment.
He said: "The Broadway shopping centre has already acted as a catalyst to attract over £500 million of investment to Bradford city centre.
"It's an exciting time for Bradford as The Broadway will boost footfall across the whole of the city and that means boom time for businesses."
1998: Plans for a major new city-centre retail development announced
1999: Planning application approved
2002: Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward withdraw funding for development
2004: Westfield takes over development and demolition work begins in Forster Square
2007: Preliminary works begin on site
2008: Westfield say the scheme has been put on hold due to the global financial crisis
2010: £300,000 temporary urban park built on the site
2012: Occupy Westfield protesters set up camp on site before being evicted by court order several weeks later
2013: Westfield announce work will restart in January 2014
2015: Bradford Broadway officially opened on 5 November
However, Andrew Carter, from think tank Centre for Cities, said people must be careful not to expect a "magnificent rebirth" off the back of the Broadway.
He said: "I do not think shopping can save any city, even those cities which have a really thriving, bustling retail offer like Manchester, Leeds or London. Retail is a relatively small part of what the city centre offers.
"Retail does not really draw lots of people in, it's work and activities and amenities, it's different things like that that draw people in and then they go to shop."
Danni Hewson, BBC Look North Business and Money reporter
Over the last decade, as the hole in Bradford's heart was dug out and finally filled in, shopping has changed beyond most of our imaginations.
Certainly the Broadway's design today is nothing like the plans of old and has adapted to include large click and collect areas, but is that enough?
There is plenty of evidence to suggest shoppers will only leave the comfort of their armchairs to shop if they are also meeting friends, having a meal, and buying something they cannot get online.
The Broadway's shiny floors actually contain quite a traditional offer.
Other towns and cities plagued by empty shops have struggled to find new ways of filling them. Can Bradford be any different?