Parts of Bradford city centre have taken on a new glow in the evenings thanks to a deal between Bradford BID and Bradford Council.
The so-called “ceiling of light” between Broadway and Market Street, erected as part of the Christmas lights, is to be left in place and switched on after dusk throughout the winter months to make the area brighter and more welcoming.
The festoon of white lights will be joined by tree lights in Darley Street, Hall Ings, North Parade, Bridge Street and Oastler Square, which will also be left in place until around the end of March.
The new Business Improvement District team has negotiated to keep the lights on during the darker months with Bradford Council under the Safe and Alive pillars of its five-year Business Plan.
BID manager Jonny Noble said: “Two of the aims of the BID are to make the city centre feel safer at all times and to encourage more people to enjoy its facilities later in the evening and improved lighting is an obvious way to help achieve those goals.
“We’re very grateful to the Council – and for the support of The Broadway shopping centre – in helping to make this happen.
“It’s a small step but an important one and an early sign to both businesses and those who use the city centre that we’re starting to make a difference already and we’re serious about making it a nicer place to be whenever we can.”
Mr Noble said he hoped the move would encourage more shops to stay open later and help to attract new hospitality and leisure options to the city centre.
“We want to keep Bradford ‘alive after five’ to help boost business and the visitor experience and this is a first step in the right direction,” said Mr Noble. “There are many more initiatives to come but it’s very early days and it will take some time to work out our priorities – but the good thing is the BID is here and we’re getting things underway.”
The move has already been welcomed by Bradford Civic Society who tweeted: “Great work by Bradford BID who’ve sorted and arranged for a ‘curtain of light’ and some festive lighting to be left in place during the dark winter months – keeping Bradford feeling bright and welcoming right into the evening.”