Bradford 'most improved' city says report

Image caption,
Bradford has been named as the most improved city in the UK in the report

The city of Bradford is the most improved place in the UK to live and work, with jobs and work-life balance highlighted in a report.

The study by accounting giant PWC and think-tank Demos measured cities against criteria people think most important to economic well-being.

The West Yorkshire city was among 42 across the UK ranked in terms of jobs, health and income.

Bradford Council said: "We are looking forward to building on this success."

The best cities and towns to live in were named as Oxford and Reading, which retained first and second places for the fourth year in a row.

The annual Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities 2019 aims to show there is more to economic well-being than measuring just the UK's economic activity, referred to as Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The index measures the performance of 42 of the UK's largest cities, England's Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and 10 Combined Authorities, against a range of 10 factors. These include jobs, health, income and skills, as well as work-life balance, house affordability, travel-to-work times, income equality, environment and business start-ups.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The Sweet Centre curry house is run by a third generation of the Ali family

Dr Zulficar Ali, of the Sweet Centre, one of Bradford's oldest curry houses, said he had seen major changes as the textile mills had all but gone, and now a new breed of "entrepreneur was emerging in the city".

He said: "The changes have uplifted the city hugely.

"It's a vibrant city, a cultural capital. It's a great place to live and work and there's such a great potential."

Image source, Bradford Museums & Galleries
Image caption,
Much of the city's past was centred around the textile industry, but new entrepreurs are thriving in Bradford

Bradford council's chief executive, Kersten England, said: "We are delighted to be rated as the most improved city.

"This has come during a great year where there are many positives to point to - from great national businesses investing in the district such as the NEC and Channel 4 to our strong local businesses."

Catherine Riley, of the city's Chamber of Commerce and manager of the Kirkgate Shopping Centre, said the city was "a little bit more noticeable than in the past".

"Our Capital of Culture bid in 2025 is coming and will improve the perception of the city," she said. "There's a growing feel-good factor".

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