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Bradford is a thriving, multi-cultural city in the north of England in the United Kingdom.

It is home to a diverse range of industry sectors including advanced engineering, printing and packaging, financial services and manufacturing.

Hi-tech, chemical and digital media industries are also key contributors to the local economy which consistently moves with the times.

It has a world class reputation for innovation and retaining quality, skills and service sas the foundation blocks for success.

As well as being a key hub for business, Bradford is also UNESCO’s first “City of Film” and a flourishing cultural destination.




Bradford - Location

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Industry Sectors


The Regeneration and Cultural Department of Bradford Council has highlighted the following sectors to be key drivers of the future and thus of local significance.

Food and Drink
Environmental Industries
Digital Industries
Print and Publishing
Cultural Industries
Advanced Engineering




Food and Drink


With almost 100 workplaces and around 4,200 employees in the district, food and drink is still a small sector in Bradford.


It accounts for 2.2% of all employees in Bradford - the same as the regional average greater than the national average of 1.4%.

Most of the employment in the food and drink sector in Bradford is based around the City area with 2,800 employees.

The Regional Econometric Model (REM) forecasts a decline in employment in the sector until 2026.

However output is forecast to grow during the same period suggesting increased efficiency.

The 10 largest workplaces in the district, in terms of employment have a combined employee total of over 3,000.


The REM estimates that output from this sector in Bradford will be around £163 milliion in 2012 - 2.2% of Bradford's total output.




Environmental Industries


There are around 10,000 environmental sector jobs in the Bradford district.

Around two thirds of these jobs (6,900) are in the secondary environmental sector and one third in the primary sector (3,100).

Bradford contains almost a quarter of all primary environmental jobs in the Leeds City Region (LCR).

Potential areas for green job growth in the district include waste recycling, biomass and low carbon retrofit.

Bradford has the portential to take a large share of the LCR total electricity generation from hydro and micro-generation by 2020.

Bradford has the portential to take a large share of the LCR total electricity generation from energy-from-waste by 2020.

The University of Bradford undertakes R&D activity in environmental engineering, water management and green job creation.

Bradford College has been awarded a National Skills Academy hub status in environmental technologies.




Digital Industries


This is a broad sector which includes electronics, software aplications, webdesign, film making and publishing activities.

There are around 6,800 employees working in 700 diggital businesses in the Bradford district.

The sector accounts for 3.6% of all employees in Bradford, greater than the Yorkshire, Humber and LCR averages.

Airedale has a high proportion of employees in the sector at 4.8%.

Employment increased in this sector by 6.3% in NBradford between 2009 and 2010 . This is far greater than the 1.6% national rise.

Weekly earnings levels vary within this sector but in some case (computer programming) they are high by national standards.

Cultural Industries


Bradford has 14,000 employees working in tourism and leisure and a further 3,600 engaged in creative industries.

Together tourism,leisure and the creative industries account for almost 18,000 employees in the district's creative space.

The cultural sector accounts for 9.3% of the total employment in Bradford.

Employment in the cultural sector accounts for a large share of total employment in Pennine Hills (14.6%) and Wharfedale (11%).

Creative industries contributed £3.3 billion to the UK's gross value added in 2009.




Printing and Publishing Industries


There are around 200 printing and publishing businesses in Bradford with approximately 6,800 employees.

It is an important sector in the local economy, accounting for 3.6% of the district's employees - higher than the 1% national average.

The South Bradford region hosts the largest proportion of employees in the Printing and Publishing sector.

Employment in the sector increased across all of the Yorkshire and Humber region between 2009 and 2010.

Future employment growth is forecast to increase at a higher pace that any other sector in Bradford.

Average earings in the sector in Yorkshire & Humber are slightly higher that average earnings for all industries and services.




Manufacturing Industries


There are 25,200 manufacturing employees in Bradford.

Key sectors include engineering with 7,500 employees, food and drink with 4,200 employees and paper/printing with 4,600.

Manufacturing accounts for 13.3% of all Bradford employees compared with 8.8% for the United Kingdom.

Over a quarter of South Bradford employees work in the manufacturing sector (27.3% of all employees).

Between 2008 and 2010 manufacturing employment in Bradford increase slightly contrasting with a fall of 9.3% across the U.K.

In 2009 the value of manufacturing output was £1.7 billion, 22% of the district's total GVA.

Manufacturing output is forecast to grow along with productivity.




Advanced Engineering


There are around 500 advanced engineering and materials (AEM) businesses in Bradford with approximately 7,500 employees.

•The sector accounts for 3.9% of all employees in the district – the same proportion as the GB average.
• 6.9% of all Airedale employees work in this sector compared to the district average of 3.9%.
•Employee numbers fell between 2008 and 2009 and the rate of decline was quite steep compared to the national average (-16.9% compared with -4.9%) although not much greater than the regional decrease (-13.8%).
•Employment is forecast to remain roughly stable over the period to 2026, while output is forecast to increase from the £430million it was in 2008.
•Average gross weekly earnings in this sector are relatively high indicating relatively high skill levels and productivity.Advanced Engineering Industries

There are around 500 advanced engineering and materials businesses in Bradford with approximately 7,500 employees.

The sector accounts for 3.9% of all employees in the district and matches the U.K. average.

6.9% of all Airedale employees work in the sector compared to the district average of 3.9%

Employment is forecast to remain stable over the period to 2026.

Output from this sector is forecast to increase from 2008's figure of £430 million.

Average gross weekly earnings in this sector are relatively high, reflecting skill levels and productivity.


To find out more about Bradford's Key Industry Sectors please go to:




Bradford's Economy


Bradford is the third largest economy in the Yorkshire and Humber Region, producing some 9% of the region's total wealth.

Employment increased over the 12 months to Sept. 2012 when there were 213,900 people aged 16-64 in employment.

14,800 more residents were employed in Sept. 2012 over Sept. 2011 - a 7.4% rise. The U.K saw an increase of 0.9%.

Bradford accounted for some 46% of the total growth of 32,000 across all of the Leeds and Bradford region.

Bradford's employment rate improved from 60.8% to 64.4% although the U.K employment rate stands at 70.4%.

Bradford's self employed rose from 25,400 to 26,100 during this Sept. 2011 through Sept. 2012 period.

Bradford has seen the highest growth in self-employment than any other UK City in the 5 years ffrom 2005.

15,285 businesses were registered for VAT and/or PAYE - up from 2011.

Bradford's total Gross Value Added (GVA) for 2011 was £8.3 billion.

In Bradford GVA per head of population was £15,956 - lower than the U.K. average of £21,368 and regional £17,037.

Since 2009 GVA in Bradford has risen by 6.6%. This is more that regional growth at 5.2% and national growth of 6.0%.

Over the last year more people who were not previously employed or looking for work has fallen.


Demographics and Population


The Bradford district is the fourth largest metropolitan district in England after Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield.

Bradford's estimated population following the 2011 census is 522,452. The U.K has an overall population of 52.23 million.

Bradford's population is growing at a faster rate that the regional or national average.

Bradford has a youthul population with 22% aged 14 or under compared to a national average of 17.6%.

The median age in Bradford is 34.6.

The population of Bradford is split 49.4% male to 50.6% female.

The population is ethnically diverse. The largest group being White British 63.9%

The district has the largest proportion of Pakistani ethnic origin in the U.K at 20.3%

There are 199,296 households in the Bradford district. England has 23.4 million households.

Population density is 1399 persons per square km.

There are 243,700 economically active residents in Bradford aged between 16 and 74.

Self employment accounts for 15% of all employment.

The unemployment rate at 5.8% is higher than the national average.





Within the Bradford district there are 7 nursery schools, 159 primary schools, 28 secondary schools and 12 special schools.

Educational achievement at schools in Bradford has increased significantly over recent years, with the proportion of pupils achieving 5 or more A* to C grade GCSEs (and equivalent) increasing by more than 7% between 2006 and 2009.

The high achieving secondary schools including, Bradford Grammar School; Bradford Girls Grammar School, Ilkley Grammar School, Heckmondwike Grammar School, Leeds Grammar School and Dixons City Academy.


Further Education and Talent


There are 12 higher education institutions in Yorkshire and Humber - 9 universities and 3 higher education (H.E.) colleges.

There are also 27 further education (F.E.) colleges which teach higher education courses and combined courses.

There are over 206,000 H.E. students in the region.

Around 55% of all students studying at an H.E. Institute in the region find employment within the region.

Within a 4 mile radius of Bradford there are 4 universities and 17 colleges. They produce a significant high skill local work-force.

The Business Schools at both Leed and Bradford universities are ranked in the top 60 globally by the FT global MBA rankings.

The regional H.E. sector has demonstrated a high level of innovation registering 136 patent applications in one year alone.

Only London and universities in the south east of the U.K. have offered more patent applications.

The region has a portfolio of over 560 active patents, surpassing both Yorkshire and Humber.

78 businesses are spin off companies that have sone H.E. involvement more than any other U.K region except London.

A recent survey by showed that the University of Bradford had the lowest cost of living for syudents in the U.K.

The University of Bradford has a high proportion of graduates who enter employment within the West Yorkshire region.


The University of Bradford

The University offers a range of courses which are relevant to local businessess and their employees.

The University has around 10,000 students, one in five from overseas.

140 degree courses are offered at undergraduate level and 80 at postgraduate level.

The School of Management's part-time MBA course is ranked within the top 10 in the U.K by the Financial Times.

Research degrees at the Management School are the 16th most popular in the world for doctorates in business and management.

The Management School offers courses in manufacturing, operations, subcontracting and supply-chain management.

The University is strong on Knowledge transfer, working with local SMEs and accredited training course.

The University's executive education programmes attract over 1000 practising managers each year.

The University has recently launched their new ASCENT Programme for aspiring managers.



The University of Leeds

University of Huddersfield

Leeds Metropolitan University

These three major universities are all located a short from Bradford and offer a wide range of relevant subjects.

All three universities have close links with industry and commerce both in the region and further afield.

The University of Huddersfield offers strong vocational courses. It is one of the top 5 U.K. providers of courses with work placement.

All three Universities offer employment-focused courses such as global logistics and supply-chain management.

The University of Leeds offers a more traditional academic focus with strong emphasis on research.

Leeds Metropolitan University has very strong links with local businesses and offers a mix of academic and vocational courses.




Bradford is extremely well connected to all parts of the United Kingdom and Europe by road, rail and air.

It is also well placed for access to major U.K. ports including Hull and Liverpool.


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Bradford - Out of Hours


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2009 saw Bradford designated the world's first UNESCO City of Film

The National Media Museum hosts the Bradford Film Festival Each Year.

Bradford has developed a close relationship with Bollywood and hosted the International Indian Film Festival of 2007.

The are 4 theatres in Bradford including the world renowm "Alhambra".

In 2013 Bradford City Football Club became the first side in division 2 to ever reach the English League Cup Final.

St. George's Hall is the oldest concert hall in the U.K. dating back to 1853.

The Bradford Mela is the largest outside of Asia.

Bradford is the curry capital of the U.K. Curry is arguably now the U.K. national dish!

The Bradford Bulls are one of the world's premier rugby league teams.

Bradford has a talent for producing the best in British music and songsters include: New Model Army, Kike Dee and Smokie.

Both Bradford Cathedral and Bolling Hall Museum date back to Medieval times.

The Bradford area hosts 37 parks and gardens as well as 7 golf courses.

Contacts Listing

  Public Sector Public Sector
Organisation Invest in Bradford Bradford Metropolitan Council
Telephone 01274 437727 01274 432111
E-Mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
  Public Sector Public Sector
Organisation Bradford Kick Start Bradford Chamber of Commerce
Telephone 0800 953 9503 01274 354750
E-Mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  Education Education
Organisation University of Bradford University of Leeds
Telephone 01274 232323 0113 243 1751
E-Mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  Education Education
Organisation Leeds Metropolitan University University of Huddersfield
Telephone 0113 812 0000 01484 422288
  Legal Services Legal Services
  Accountancy Services Accountancy Services
  Banking Services Banking Services
  Commercial Property Services Commercial Property Services
  Utilities Utilities
  Recruitment Recruitment
  Broadband/Telecoms Logistics
  Hotels Hotels
  Restaurants Restaurants
  Car Hire Taxi Hire


Did You Know

Bradford is home to a number of major U.K. businesses with recognised bands operating internationally and nationally.

These brands include Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Yorkshire Building Society, Banco Santander and Hallmark Cards.

Bradford hosts a strong manufacturing sector that accounts for 13.4% of all employees in the district.

Local water quality is excellent and sustainable - well served by the rivers and tributaries that flow through the Sth.Pennines.

Population projections for Bradford forecast growth of 5,600 people per year until 2033.

Bradford is just six hours away from Paris by train.

22% of the population of Bradford is under 16.

Bradford City football club is the only Division 2 side to play at Wembley in the League Cup Final (2013)

Knowledge based businesses such as financial and professional services account for 17.7% of all businesses in the district.

Bradford skill levels are improving with 21.8% of 16 to 74 year olds educated to degree level.

17.7% of the district's employed residents work in either retail or wholesale.


Some important U.K. Detail


The current rate for U.K. Corporation tax is 24%

This is going to reduced to 21% in 2014 and to 20% in 2015.

Research and Development tax credits are available to both large corporations and SMEs who are investing in R & D.

There are specific definitions for corporate size and R & D tax credit qualification.

More information on tax breaks for research and development and for innovation can be found at .


Income tax is not payable on the first £9,440.00. This will increase to £10,000 in 2014/15.

The basic rate of tax is 20% applies to the next £32,010 of income.

The higher rate of tax is 40% except for individuals who earn more than £150,000 where taxation comes in at 45%.



Register your Business

There are three main business structures in the U.K. - Sole Trade, Limited Company and Partnership.

To find out what is best for your business check .

Also for registration go to:


UK Business Environment

In 2011, the cumulative stock of foreign investment into the U.K was US$1.2 trillion. - UNCTAD 2012.

In 2011/12 the UK attracted over 1,400 FDI projects, the highest in Europe creating 52,741 jobs.

The UK is the second largest gloablal destination for US Investment.

The UK has attracted more US Investment that the combined totals of Germany, France,Spain, Italy and Ireland.

Over the last 10 years UK GDP has regularly outpaced or matched growth in theEuropean Union.

GDP in Q1 2013 has improved to a modest 0.3%. The IMF are forecasting a small 0.7% increase in 2013.

Exchange rates are left broadly to market forces - as at May 2013 £1 was equal to $1.5600 and Euro 1.3100.

The Bank of England monetary policy committee review our official bank rate every month. 0.5% as at September 2013.

Inflation and the control thereof is again the responsibility of the Bank of England and as at May 2013 was running at 2.8%.

Value Added Tax (VAT) is paid on goods and services provided within the UK. This currently runs at 20%.

The UK is a major export of goods and services. It is the second largest global exporter of commercial services.

The UK's credit rating dipped one place in April 2013 to AA+ from AAA+.


The UK's open and internationally focused economy is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the world and a proven gateway to the US$17 trillion European Union market - IMF 2012.

The UK is the best major location for "ease of doing business" in Europe. - The World Bank 2012

The UK attracts more international investment projects than anywhere else in Europe. - Ernst and Young 2012.

The UK is looking to create the most competitive tax system in the G20.

The UK is looking to have the most educated European work-force that is also the most flexible.


Important Links

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