BRADFORD’S historic Little Germany quarter is to be included in the city’s planned Business Improvement District.
The area was not included in the original plans for the BID, which centres around The Broadway and Kirkgate shopping centres, City Park, the markets and the Leisure Exchange.
But the district’s business leaders have now decided to throw their weight behind the BID plan which would see around 600 businesses paying a levy to fund improvements to the city centre.
The contributions from Little Germany would help to bring the total spend over the five years of the scheme to more than £2.5 million.
The nineteenth-century landmark trading area, which features one of the largest concentrations of Listed buildings in the country, has undergone substantial restoration in recent decades.
Business leaders say that if the BID goes ahead after the ballot this autumn, it could play a big part in helping the historic district realise its full potential as a place in which to work and live and as a visitor attraction.
Directors of the not-for-profit limited company set up in 2011 to promote the area, Little Germany Action Ltd (LGAL), say they are already campaigning for a “Yes” vote and will be urging other city centre businesses to get behind it.
LGAL chair Dave West said: “Great progress has been made to date but more needs to be done to assist the area’s regeneration and help it achieve its potential.
“The Bradford BID will be an excellent vehicle to help make Little Germany, and the rest of the city centre, an animated, safer, cleaner and positively promoted part of Bradford.”
He said the directors fully supported the concept of the Business Improvement District.
“We are campaigning locally for a ‘Yes’ vote later this year,” said Mr West.
“We thoroughly endorse the BID and urge all local businesses and building owners to get involved, vote ‘Yes’ and help this wonderful area play its part in making Bradford city centre a success.”
Their decision to join the project was welcomed by BID development group chairman Ian Ward.
“Little Germany is an integral part of Bradford city centre,” said Mr Ward. “It is not only a fabulous place in which to live and work but it is also a fascinating area to visit and should be a real draw for tourists.
“We believe the BID can help build on the amazing regeneration work that’s been done and help to put Little Germany on the map for visitors, potential investors and residents alike.
“We’re thrilled to have them on board and we’re very grateful to Little Germany Action Ltd for their enthusiastic support of the BID proposal and the initiatives we plan to take forward.”
Little Germany was at the centre of the world trade in wool after it was built in the early to mid-1800s and many of the industry’s leading merchants set out to impress clients by erecting ornate and imposing offices of Yorkshire stone, with no expense spared.
The decline in the wool trade in the 20th century left many of the buildings unused and in a state of decline until regeneration programmes brought them back in to use.