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The Odeon

September 10th, 2021

Members of Bradford Breakthrough enjoying a visit to see the huge progress being made to transform the former Odeon into Bradford Live – a 4,000 capacity music venue, right in the heart of the City.

University of Bradford to get its own space research centre after huge donation

September 2nd, 2021

THE University of Bradford is set to get its very own space research centre, after a multi-million-pound donation from a university graduate. Dr Venkata ‘Murthy’ Renduchintala, studied at the university from 1983-1991, gaining a BEng degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, a PhD in Satellite Communications and a Masters degree in Business Administration.

Dr Renduchintala said: “I am delighted to be able make this donation to my Alma Mater.  Whatever I have been able to achieve professionally thus far has been built on the solid academic foundation the university provided me with. It therefore seems both fitting and appropriate that I participate in helping the leadership of the university as they take this institute into important fields of research and learning that look towards our future. I am really excited by the ambitions we have for the centre and am confident that the research it conducts will be both influential and impactful.”

The centre’s long-term aim is to establish the Yorkshire and Humber region as the space technology anchor, through collaborations with governments, regional organisations and academia.

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, said: “This investment means the university will be able to take advantage of the many opportunities that will be generated as a result of an increase in space exploration and to play a role in the creation of cutting-edge technologies.”

Dr Renduchintala is one of the most high-profile members of the university community, having pursued a distinguished career in developing and manufacturing wireless communications, System-on-Chip and Internet of Things technologies – working latterly as the Chief Engineering Officer for Intel Corporation. Now residing in the USA, his exceptionally generous donation will seed-fund the Bradford-Renduchintala Centre for Space. The centre will allow the university to deliver educational programmes in space and satellite technology development, and to play an active role in the creation of cutting-edge technologies.

 High profile external experts who have extensive industrial experience in satellite and space system will join the team to deliver the MSc programme, in addition to outreach activities to enhance the profile of the centre, and improve the diversity and calibre of students the MSc programme attracts.

The University of Bradford has a history of 40 years in Space and Satellite Technology.

Professor Fun Hu, Professor of Wireless Communications and the Centre Director, said: “The generous donation from Murthy has given the university a solid foundation to step out firmly to explore with the rest of the world in this space era.”

The Broadway shopping centre to house Bradford Street Angels project

August 23rd, 2021

A shopping centre in Bradford will be the new home for a charity project that works to look after the community at night. The Broadway shopping centre in Bradford city centre has stepped in to provide Bradford Street Angels with access to a private room to work from every Friday, free of charge.

Street Angels is a project that provides care and practical help to people who are out enjoying the city’s nightlife. Lorraine Betts, co-chair of Bradford Street Angels, said: “Street Angels is a voluntary organisation that relied on funding grants and donations to rent a ‘base’ for volunteers whilst working. We’re delighted to be able to alleviate this pressure and are so grateful to The Broadway for its kind offer. We have a wonderful team of volunteers that work very hard from early evening right through until the early hours of the morning. It is fantastic that we are able to have a warm and safe base at The Broadway to store our personal items and to provide space for rest between patrols.” The Street Angels patrol in teams of three or four and provide a listening ear to those who need to talk or provide support to the more vulnerable people they come across.

Ian Ward, general manager at The Broadway, said: “We firmly believe that The Broadway is at the heart of the local community. When we heard about the space required by the Street Angel volunteers to rest and recuperate whilst conducting their voluntary work, The Broadway management team came together to decide how we could help.  The Centre has ample space, particularly during the hours retailers are closed.  We have a private space that is relaxing and spacious, plus safe and protected.  We decided this was the ideal location for the Street Angel team particularly with its easy access to the streets of Bradford where the night economy is located.  The work the Street Angels team conduct is truly admirable and we’re delighted to provide the space free of charge to the organisation.” 

Bradford Street Angels are part of a wider national network of Street Angels. The first team started in Halifax in 2005 and there are now more than 100 across the UK. There are currently 20 volunteers on the Bradford Street Angels active list, but the team is actively searching for more so that patrols can take place on a Saturday evening as well as a Friday. Many of the volunteers come from local churches, though as long as the ethos is respected, volunteers may come from any faith or non-faith background.

For anyone wanting to get involved in Bradford Street Angels or to find out more information, contact the group through Facebook @BradfordStreetAngels

Bradford’s National Science and Media Museum in top 10 sites

August 1st, 2021

A Bradford site has been named in the top 10 best museum days out in the UK this summer. The National Science and Media Museum has been placed in 10th place in the list.

Research carried out by Care Specialists New Care Homes has revealed the Best Museum Days Out to head out and explore this summer. The Bradford museum scored 77.5 points out of 100 in the study, the same amount as the World of Beatrix Potter in Cumbria and the National Space Centre in Leicester. The British Museum tops list of best museums to explore this summer. The Imperial War Museum in Manchester is second, while The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds is third.

The team compiled information on some of the UK’s most popular museums, and scored them out of a possible 100 to find out which could offer the best days out for older people across the UK. In instances where venues received a similar score, they were then ranked on value for money. Key criteria that was scored included cost of admission for kids and adults, cost of parking, the number of onsite cafes and/or restaurants and average time it takes to tour the entire venue.

Yorkshire Water best water company in England for customer service

July 30th, 2021

Yorkshire Water has been rated the top water company in England in a customer satisfaction survey. The firm has been awarded a score of 78.3 in The Institute of Customer Service’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index, which is based on customer reviews and feedback, and sits above the national average of 77.4.

Rated as the top water company in England, Yorkshire Water also came fifth in the list of all UK utilities and scored particularly well in the ‘experience’, ‘customer ethos’, ‘emotional connection’ and ‘ethics’ categories. Yorkshire Water’s score improved by 4.2 points since July 2020.

 The company attributes the uplift to the hard work and focus that colleagues have given to customer experience over the last year, by redefining its strategy and driving service improvements, including its recently launched website. The new site has improved customer experience by making it easier for customers to ‘self serve’ by having access to advice for frequently asked questions, improved incident mapping or being able to paying their bill online.
Customers often provide feedback to Yorkshire Water, in the form of ‘WOW! Award’ nominations – which aim to highlight great customer service. Jessica Roche, head of customer experience strategy at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’re thrilled with the latest results as shows the hard work is paying off to ensure we’re supporting customers in the best way possible – along with the more obvious improvements to customer facing platforms, there’s also lots going on behind the scenes. We’re training and coaching our customer service teams so that they can continue to support the communities we serve. In the last 12 months we have provided 60,000 customers with financial support and helped an additional 12,000 customers get the tailored support they need through our Priority Services Register. Our colleagues have continued to provide our essential services to customers during the global pandemic ensuring that at all times customer can rely on us and we will continue to keep making positive changes to our customer experience.”

Brews with the BID city centre recovery meetings get underway

July 14th, 2021

BRADFORD BID is hosting a series of special events to help businesses network while finding out more about the organisation and its plans to help boost the city centre’s recovery and development.

Bradford Business Improvement District (BID), the limited company funded by levy-payers to help promote and develop the city centre, will stage four quarterly “Brews With The BID” – with free tea and coffee at the top of the agenda. The morning get-togethers will take place at the Midland Hotel, in Forster Square, and will also provide a face-to-face opportunity to talk to the BID team about ideas for improving the district’s core retail, office, hospitality and leisure zone.

Business engagement officer Nikki Chadburn said: “Brews With The BID are exclusive networking meetings which will occur around four times a year. There are more than 600 BID member business and organisations – all the key players in the city centre – and these meetings are a great opportunity for any or all of them to come together, share good practice and hear news and updates from Bradford BID. Our aim is to create strong partnership working between all our member businesses and members and to help them feel part of a special club all working together in the city’s interests, with access to exclusive benefits, updates and, importantly, a voice. The BID belongs to the members who pay into it via the annual levy and it’s vital that their priorities, suggestions and concerns regarding the aspects of the city and it’s day-to-day life that the BID can deliver on are heard and incorporated into our plans.”

The first of the Brews With The BID events will take place next week, on Wednesday, July 21, and will start from 8.30am. There will be an overview presentation from Bradford BID, including updates about city centre plans, as well two guest speakers from LoyalFree, who operate the BID’s smartphone app for trails and offers, and from the Darley Street Market development. Each meeting will have a particular topic or theme with a variety of guest speakers.

Bradford BID manager Jonny Noble said: “We’re really pleased to be able to start holding events like this again after the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. Creating opportunities for networking is an extremely important part of the BID’s role, bringing people together to talk about the challenges the city centre is facing and listening to their ideas about how we should be tackling them and what our priorities should be is vital. The last 18 months have been tough for all businesses and it’s great to be able to meet up with some of those people who make Bradford such a great place in which to live, work, shop and spend your leisure time. But it’s also a brilliant chance for business in every sector to talk to each other about how they have been coping and to share their experiences, their hopes and their plans as we work to get Bradford fully back to normal and moving ahead.”

To register to attend the first Brews event, businesses need to fill in the form on the BID website at

Yorkshire Building Society announces partnership to digitally upskill people in Bradford from ethnic minority backgrounds

July 14th, 2021

Yorkshire Building Society has announced pilot partnership with Good Things Foundation to provide digital skills training to 150 people from ethnic minority backgrounds in Bradford to help with employability prospects. The partnership forms part of the Society’s commitment to put £240,000 extra investment into Bradford in 2021. Good Things Foundation also supports the Bradford-based Society’s ambition to provide at least 2,000 people in Bradford with employability support by the end of 2022.

Pauline Giroux, Senior Manager for Social Purpose and Sustainability at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “This announcement is about us helping to nurture the talent of people from Bradford that may otherwise be overlooked, and to provide support to the city in rebuilding its economy and opportunities post-Covid. By working with Good Things Foundation to pilot and deliver digital skills workshops for people from ethnic minority backgrounds, we will be supporting adult learners, career switchers and people looking to return to work or start a career to prepare for the future of employment in an increasingly digital world. Our wider investment into Bradford is a reaffirmation of our commitment to the city, where in 1885, our predecessors established the Bradford Self Help Permanent Building Society in St George’s Hall Coffee Tavern, and where the Society has been based throughout the 135 years since.”

Helen Milner OBE, Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Yorkshire Building Society on this pilot partnership, providing people in Bradford from ethnic minority backgrounds digital skills training – in turn driving the recovery and ensuring that everyone is healthier, happier, and better off.”


University of Bradford produces most CEOs in Yorkshire – study

July 4th, 2021

THE University of Bradford produces more chief executives than any other university in Yorkshire a study has found. The research, which was carried out by Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, analysed data from more than 8.4 million alumni who had left 121 UK universities since the year 2000 and had gone on to become either CEOs or Managing Directors, or found their own business.

The University of Bradford topped the table of universities that produce the most CEOs and MDs in Yorkshire, with 10.5% of alumni going on to hold one of these positions. It finished 13th on the overall list. Bradford finished well ahead of neighbours University of Leeds, which produces the second highest number of CEOs (8.96%), while University of Hull is the third highest with 8.58% of alumni going on to become a CEO or MD. Leeds Trinity University was revealed as the university producing the least number of CEOs and MDs, with just 5.6% of alumni going on to hold these positions.

Looking at the list of universities across the UK in full, a clear North South divide was evident in the research, with 12 of the top 20 universities based in London. The University of Cumbria is the highest ranking northern university on the list, while the Universities of Leicester, Bradford and Manchester also featuring in the top 20.

The research also examined the universities that produce the highest number of small business founders, with the University of Leeds (7.91%) just beating York St John University (7.84 per cent) to the top spot. The University of Bradford finished third in this list for the percentage of alumni that found their own firms, with 7.83%.

The university’s School of Management is world renowned – it was the first business school to be jointly accredited by AMBA and BGA in England and in February this year, its MBA was ranked No.1 in the world for value for money by the Financial Times. Professor Sankar Sivarajah, head of the university’s School of Management, said: “The management school has always been driven by the need for developing business ideas and really targeted at developing people who had the skills to be able to move into industry and business and giving back to business world. “Our FT-recognised MBA is world renowned and one of the reasons why people join it is that once they complete the course, they see a career progression into these high-ranking roles.”

Andy Dodd, Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance managing director, said: “Our research proves that you don’t necessarily need to go to the top universities (according to the guides) to ensure you enjoy a highly successful business career. Many of the top universities for producing CEOs and business founders are among the lower ranked university guide schools, which should provide food for thought for many beginning the long process of applying for university. Hopefully some of our research helps to inspire the next generation of small business owners.”

Bradford BID appoints new co-ordinator to build ‘rich and vibrant’ city centre at night

July 4th, 2021

BRADFORD’S evening and night-time economy has taken a significant step forward with the appointment of its first co-ordinator. Elizabeth Murphy has been appointed by the city’s Business Improvement District (BID) to work with hospitality and leisure businesses to help build a “rich, vibrant and successful” offer in the city centre. Ms Murphy, who is experienced in place management, working with both BIDs and local authorities, started the new role today.

Bradford BID chairman Ian Ward said: “The development of Bradford city centre is at a pivotal time. We are on the cusp of some major developments, such as the opening of the NEC Bradford Live Arena in late 2022, that have the potential to significantly increase footfall. In 2019 the accounting firm PWC and think tank Demos indicated that Bradford is the most improved place in the UK to live and work, with jobs and work-life balance highlighted in a report. We believe that now is the time to start building on this further by developing and supporting our night-time offer to ensure that we have excellent operational procedures and partnership working in place to support the additional footfall and high-quality offer that is in the planning stages.”

BID manager Jonny Noble said they were looking forward to working with Elizabeth to create a better city centre. “The BID is committed to supporting businesses open between 6pm and 6am to operate to the highest standards by sharing best practice, training and intelligence. Through partnership working we aim to create a welcoming clean and safe environment, that has a vibrant and rich mixture of entertainment and leisure options at night, that are easy and safe to access and leave. It’s all about delivering a successful evening and night-time economy in Bradford city centre and to ensure that the city centre economy is thriving and open for business into the evening and night-time.”

Ms Murphy is a Fellow of the Institute of Place Management, an expert and mentor on the Government’s High Streets Task Force and has a Master’s degree in place management.  She worked as the city centre retail and night-time economy lead officer for Wakefield Council and in management roles at Wakefield and Harrogate BIDS.

Ms Murphy said of her new role: “It’s an adventure just to be here – Bradford has so many possibilities. I’m really looking forward to going and meeting the businesses that are open after 6pm and being there solely for them – and that just doesn’t mean just pubs, bars and clubs; it’s a wide-ranging and diverse sector out there and I’d like to bring them together as a business community to work in partnership to really put Bradford on the map as the place to come and visit on an evening.” She said she was very keen to hear what these businesses had to say about the way forward. I’m here for the evening economy and I’ll be listening to their concerns and their ideas and helping to light that fire that illuminates how exciting the potential here is,” said Elizabeth. “It is a really wondrous place – there are some fantastic venues out there and we need to bang that drum and support these businesses and build on the ideas that come from that sector. It’s been a heck of a year for hospitality – and for anybody really with a city centre business – but I think we’re on the cusp of something brand new and Bradford has seen it’s there for the taking and it’s going to be a leader, rather than a follower, and people will be following what Bradford’s doing. It’s a great night out here already and it’s just going to get better!”

Mims Davies MP praises Yorkshire Water after Esholt visit

June 18th, 2021

A GOVERNMENT minister has praised a Yorkshire company for its training opportunities after visiting one of its Bradford sites.

Mims Davies MP, The Minister for Employment, took a trip to Yorkshire Water’s Esholt Wastewater Treatment Works on Tuesday (June 15). She met some of the company’s current apprentices, heard about its training academy and learnt about Yorkshire Water’s involvement in the “Kickstart” scheme.

The utility firm recently employed 75 young people under the initiative, which helps 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit secure fixed term contracts. This allows them to gain work experience and embark on a potential career. Yorkshire Water guarantees that every person who successfully completes its Kickstart programme – which takes six months – will be given a job interview for a role within the business. The roles range from working in the customer experience team, the land and property department, or being part of the flooding resilience team.

Mims Davies MP, said: “It was brilliant to meet the Yorkshire Water team and see first-hand the innovative training and work opportunities being created for local people, including through the DWP Kickstart Scheme and new apprenticeships. From Shipley to Scarborough, right across Yorkshire our Plan for Jobs is boosting skills and job prospects for people of all ages as we push to build back better.”

Yorkshire Water is running its Kickstart scheme in partnership with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and trade unions. The latter will assist the water company by providing monthly sessions to help with challenges faced in a return to work situation or first-time employment, monthly career workshops and CV support. 

Gillian Mason, head of organisational development at Yorkshire Water, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Mims Davies to our Esholt site and talk to her about our commitments to the Kickstart scheme, our academy and our apprenticeship programme.  We’re really looking forward to welcoming 75 Kickstarters to the business over the next year.  We are committed to giving them as much training and support as we can, starting with a guaranteed interview for a role in the company for everyone who successfully completes the six-month scheme.”

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