Latest News

Bradford’s diabetes epidemic and what’s being done to tackle it

June 18th, 2021

DURING Diabetes Week which runs until Sunday, the University of Bradford is raising awareness of the disorder. The Bradford district has the highest rate of diabetes in the UK, with more than one in ten of people in the district diagnosed as diabetic – 11 per cent – and many more pre-diabetic or undiagnosed.

The University of Bradford is currently carrying out a number of cutting edge research projects into diabetes and what can be done to support people with the disorder. There are three main types of diabetes; Type 1 is caused by a lack if insulin creation in the pancreas, Type 2 is caused by a poor diet, being overweight or obese and not doing enough exercise, while Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women.

It’s this third form which Professor Anne Graham is leading a consortium of clinicians, scientists and researcher on to identify how to better predict which women will deliver babies which are larger than usual for their gestational age, and makes use of the pioneering Born in Bradford programme. Women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at a much higher risk of having very large babies, which may require early delivery or a C-section. Rates of gestational diabetes are increasing globally and it is common in Bradford, and predicting who will be at highest risk can help identify the safest delivery method earlier.

Dr Liz Breen, director of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone, said: “The advancement of diabetes prevention, screening, diagnosis and patient support is a key area of concern for our Bradford population. Researchers within DHEZ , working with our NHS, professional and business colleagues, will collaborate to design and deliver digital health solutions to support diabetes care.”

While gestational diabetes usually goes away after childbirth, mothers and their children are at a greater risk of Type 2 diabetes, as well as obesity and cardiovascular problems.

Dr Donald Whitelaw, Consultant in Diabetes in Endocrinology at Bradford Royal Infirmary, added: “Diabetes in pregnancy affects around 500 women in Bradford each year with risks of serious harm to mothers and their babies. Preventing and reducing these risks are key targets to keep the population healthy.”

The University of Bradford’s Dr Kirsten Riches-Suman has also been looking into the impact of Type 2 diabetes on the heart and blood vessels. Using her expertise she discovered the building blocks of blood vessels behave differently in Type 2 diabetes sufferers, making them age prematurely and increasing the risk of blockages, and it can take up to a decade to reverse the problem. This highlights, Dr Riches-Suman said, why it’s critical early pre-diabetes diagnosis is made to improve heart health in patients.

PhD student Alisah Hussain, who is working on the project, said: “Growing up in Bradford has made me want to be a part of this cutting edge research looking at early diagnosis and personalised medicine approaches in the longer term. With the university’s internationally recognised expertise and facilities, we can help our local community not only now, but also for future generations.”

National Science and Media Museum to launch new exhibitions exploring how sound shapes our lives

June 15th, 2021

THE National Science and Media Museum is set to launch a new series of events and exhibitions this summer, which will explore sound and the impact it has on our lives.

Sound Season will take a look at how sound fills our world, helping people to understand what sound is, and encouraging them to play and experiment with sound. It includes two new free exhibitions, which will run between 23 July and 5 December, alongside a programme of special events. Visitors will learn about the journey of a sound wave and how it interacts with different materials and spaces, as well as exploring the biology of sound, and how an understanding of the physical properties of sound can be used by musicians, engineers and scientists to create and manipulate it.

 The first of the two special exhibitions, Boom: Experiments in Sound, is an interactive family exhibition, which will open just in time for the summer holidays. It will uncover how sound is central to our everyday lives, from helping us to judge distance, size and space, to bringing us entertainment in music and television. Families can journey through the science and sensations of sound with exciting displays, including a sound canal and interactive crescendo space. Boom will also feature the Oramics composition machine designed by electronic music pioneer, Daphne Oram, as well as other interactive displays, including a chance to measure the size of sound waves and experiment with how sounds change based on different spaces and distances.

The second exhibition, Sonic: Adventures in Audio, will uncover the museum’s fast-growing collection of sound-related objects, including iconic synthesizers and items used in the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Sonic will also see the debut of a rolling programme of interactive installations by sound artists and experts.

The first installations open on 23 July with Drum and Bass: Time and Space by Edward Wilson-Stephens, a PhD researcher with the museum and the University of Leeds, and Gramophony, by composer and performer Jobina Tinnemans.

 Commenting on the launch of Sound Season, Annie Jamieson, Curator of Sound Technologies, said: “We are really excited to be launching our Sound Season this summer. This is the first time the museum has featured sound-specific exhibitions and it is a great opportunity to explore our ever-growing collections in this area. Sound is a central part of our lives, but despite its importance to our understanding of the world, we don’t often think about it. Through this season of exhibitions and events we hope to demystify the invisible phenomenon of sound so visitors can understand what it is, how it moves through the world and how it can be played with and manipulated.”

The National Science and Media Museum and Pictureville Cinema are now open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, and every day during school holidays.

Visitors must pre-book a ticket to visit via the museum website. For more information, visit

Bradford BID launches new video podcasts to help businesses get back on track

June 6th, 2021

BRADFORD BID has launched a series of free video podcasts to help city centre businesses get back on their feet and move forward after the pandemic lockdowns. The monthly videos will feature the BID’s business engagement officer, Nikki Chadburn, interviewing experts and specialists on key aspects of business support and advice to help them overcome some of the challenges that Covid-19 has presented them with.

BID manager Jonny Noble said: “A key part of our role is to help the city centre thrive and that means doing all we can to ensure retailers, leisure operators, hospitality providers and service businesses and the like are given every chance to get back on their feet after the blows they have suffered as aa result of the pandemic. Our aim is to encourage people to come back to the city centre and rediscover what a fabulous place it is but we also recognise that this has been an unprecedented set of circumstances and many small businesses in particular will be overfaced by the rules and regulations and will need some guidance as to where to find the support they need. We hope by providing this free, easily-accessible platform we can give them some encouragement and Nikki will be seeking to interview specialists who will help reassure them that better times are ahead.”

The podcasts will be published on YouTube and details and links will be available on the Bradford BID website,

Mrs Chadburn said: “These podcasts will be all about different aspects of business support, to help levy-payers with their recovery phase as they get back to business. Each episode will cover a different aspect of support, including such things as HR and recruitment advice, employment law, training and marketing, for example, with a range of interviewees giving guidance based on their sphere of expertise. We’re very keen for levy-paying members to tell us what help they need and I would urge them to let me know – via the Bradford BID website – what areas they would like us to cover and any questions they want us to try to answer during these sessions.  We’ll be talking during the podcast about some of the projects we’ve devised and are working on to help them, such as the LoyalFree app which provides a host of interactive city centre trials which encourage visitors to spend more time here and residents to rediscover some of the places they may have forgotten or have not been to for a long time, as well as providing an outlet for special offers and discounts that businesses might want to give to help bring in trade.” 

She said the first episode – already available – features details of some exciting new initiatives coming up, including a series of business networking meetings with guest speakers and a new task force to tackle some city centre issues. “We’ve also organized some free training courses for businesses and their staff and one of the podcasts will feature someone from the Virtual College explaining how useful these are and how people can take advantage of them,” said Mrs Chadburn.

Details of the podcasts and when they will be available will be published on the BID website and social media accounts as well as in the BID’s regular newsletter for levy-payers.

Water firm trials new technology to reduce pipe bursts

May 6th, 2021

YORKSHIRE Water is conducting a trial of the new technology to see if it can help reduce the number bursts and the amount of time it takes to isolate a pipe if it does burst. 

The water company is working with R2M Limited to trial 34 remote battery powered actuators. The new additions will mean the flow of water can be managed centrally, from the company’s control room, and may save significant time in the event of a burst or water quality event – meaning less interruptions for customers. 

As well as time saving benefits, cost savings are estimated at around £20,000 per asset, per annum, due to the reduced installation cost and reduced manual handling time.

Sarah Gledhill, innovation project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Our customers will see the benefit through a reduced number of bursts and much quicker resolutions if something does go wrong on the network.”

Four Bradford district firms win prestigious Queen’s Award

May 6th, 2021

Four firms in the Bradford district are amongst 205 businesses across the country to be recognised for winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Bradford-based housing association Incommunities was honoured in the promoting opportunity through social mobility category.  The company’s employability team was recognised for its work with local residents providing skills development, training and career opportunities for jobseekers in the Bradford district.

Julie Stanworth, employability manager at Incommunities, said: “The team creates opportunities for social mobility by helping provide people with the skills, knowledge and qualifications they need to gain sustainable employment or upskill to a new role.  I am proud the team’s efforts in supporting local residents have been recognised by this prestigious award.”

Brighouse-based Lattitude7 was also recognised for its excellence in promoting opportunity through social mobility.  Lattitude7 was set up in 2010 and provides training in personal development, teamwork, leadership and business improvement.  A large part of their work is focused on helping disadvantaged individuals and groups.  Founder and owner of Lattitude7, Dr Martin Haigh MBE, said: “It is an absolute honour for our business to be recognised with a Queen’s Award.  We have worked hard to support the disadvantaged, especially in the Calderdale community, and it is especially pleasing to see young people gain the confidence and skills to enter the world of work.”

Silsden-based EthOss Regeneration Ltd was honoured in the international trade category.  EthOss was set up in 2013 by Dr Peter Fairbairn and Dr Paul Harrison, who created the innovative EthOss® – a synthetic biomaterial used during dental implant surgery to encourage new bone to grow and support the implant.  Dr Harrison, Managing director of EthOss said: “We’re incredibly proud to have been recognised with the prestigious Queen’s Award in international trade.  The continued hard work of our team has seen us continue to grow year on year, and we’re extremely honoured that this has been celebrated with such a renowned award.”

Family-run Batley-based furniture manufacturer and retailer HSL was honoured in the innovation category.  HSL was recognised for its patented innovative frame design, which allows the attachment of a wooden knuckle (armchair handle) using a different technique to the methodology used historically by other furniture manufacturers.  William Burrows, HSL chairman, said : “I am delighted and hugely proud, as is my mother who founded HSL with my father 53 years ago, to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.  It not only reflects the skill, passion and commitment of our team, but is a testimony to our craftsmen and women.”

Bradford businesses ‘very excited’ for April re-opening as optimism grows

March 19th, 2021

NON-ESSENTIAL businesses in Bradford are “very excited” ahead of being able to potentially re-open next month, but safety remains a “priority” as the fight against Covid continues. Under Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap, non-essential shops will be able to re-open on 12 April, while hospitality venues will also be allowed to serve people outdoors.

After a tough 12 months, Dr Trevor Higgins, Chief Executive of Bradford Breakthrough, has tipped Bradford’s local economy to make a “speedy recovery”. “I think the important thing is that we have a road out of lockdown. Businesses need certainty and to be able to plan for the future”, he said.

“After businesses re-opened after the first lockdown, footfall in Bradford city centre increased much quicker than in other UK cities – I think that will happen again. In the Roaring Twenties, after the First World War, people were enjoying themselves and spending money. There’s a lot of pent-up demand for people to go out and spend now, too. Bradford is very well-positioned to bounce back, as it has a Business Improvement District in the city centre. I think the city centre will make a speedy recovery. The building of new markets, the Odeon moving forward step-by-step and developments around City Park are all very positive, too. Bradford is a very entrepreneurial city – every time a business fails, it’s very sad, when people have put their lives and souls into it. But then, somebody else steps in and fills that gap. So, I’m very optimistic about Bradford’s future.”

Catherine Riley, Manager at the Kirkgate Centre, added that 12 April could be a “step towards normality”. “We will be very excited to welcome people back, but we’ll be doing it in a safety-conscious way. We’ll be abiding by the rules, but it’s difficult to imagine how our re-opening will look just yet, as so much is changing so quickly”, she said. “A lot of staff have sadly taken a hit to their income. It will be great to get them back to a position where they can support their families better. It’s been hard for our tennants, but we hope we can soon see some life and vibrancy back in Bradford. I’d also encourage people to get vaccinated – a lot of our staff, including myself, got the vaccine at Jacob’s Well, and everybody there was amazing.”

Ian Ward, General Manager at The Broadway, also said: “This phase of national restrictions has been a difficult period for all retailers, but what has been uplifting is the consumer appetite for things to return to normal. The public miss and want their local high street back. We hope the re-opening of The Broadway will mark the return of some normality, by allowing people to come into Bradford and experience what our great city has to offer.

Working to current Government guidance, The Broadway and its retailers will re-open on 12 April. Trading hours are Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm. All Covid-secure measures we have been operating under since early last year will continue, to keep both shoppers and staff safe. The team at The Broadway is working incredibly hard to ensure we can deliver a safe and enjoyable customer experience in April, and we’re delighted to be doing all we can to support our retailers at the centre and the local economy in Bradford.”

Mark Cartwright, West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce’s Policy and Representation Executive, added: “Businesses will, of course, be looking forward to re-opening again. It’s been a very difficult 12 months, and very damaging to the economy. Also, working from home, despite the technological advancements over recent years, is still very different to being in the same building as your colleagues. We all need that interaction – it is good for morale and well-being. It is still important that we maintain social distancing, and businesses have invested in order to keep staff and customers as safe as they can possibly be. Some sectors have been hit more than others, obviously – with retail and hospitality being the obvious areas worst affected. The Government support, ably administered by Bradford Council, has been crucial to keeping some of our businesses afloat, and we now need to get them all back up-to-speed as quickly as possible, in order to get the economy going again – strictly within Covid-related guidelines, of course.

New ‘Getting Bradford back to Business’ campaign launched by BID and T&A

March 15th, 2021

Bradford BID has teamed up with the Telegraph & Argus to launch a campaign to help city centre businesses prepare for the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in the weeks and months ahead.

And the city’s Business Improvement District is calling on owners to “get their ducks in a row” and be ready for when non-essential shops and others are able to open again. In partnership with the T&A, it has pledged to do all it can to promote their efforts and encourage people to return to the city centre but, it says, businesses need to get in touch as soon as possible to let them know what their plans are.

It’s vital that businesses are ready for when the restrictions are eased because they can’t afford to lose a minute in enticing customers back and making up for the huge losses they have suffered since the start of the pandemic,” said BID chairman Ian Ward. “We’re not encouraging people to behave rashly – we know that the restrictions are being lifted in stages and we will all have to do everything in our power to help keep people safe, even when most adults have had their vaccinations. But we have to be ready to grasp the opportunity to rebuild our livelihoods and that means businesses have to start thinking of ways to win their customers back from the online shopping habits that many will have developed and to find ways to pull in new business.”

Mr Ward said the high street has “clearly suffered badly” from the impact of the pandemic but it still has a bright future if it adapts and changes to meet people’s needs. “People are itching for the kind of social interactivity that you get from shopping,” he said. “Constantly having to send back clothes that don’t fit and products that aren’t quite what you expected can get pretty wearing after a while! The high street grew up in the first place because it was the ideal place to see and feel products and try on garments, while getting one-to-one advice and guidance from shop assistants. It’s the most convenient and straightforward way to shop and we need to get back to that unbeatable experience.”

Steve Lowe, commercial director of the T&A, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with the BID on this campaign. It’s all about helping and encouraging businesses to get ready to welcome customers again. The high street has changed and it will have to adapt to a new way of operating so businesses can’t really expect to just open their doors and everything will go back to normal. They will have to be creative and devise new ways to get customers to return and to find new ones to help replace some of their lost revenue and we will be working closely with the BID to get the message across about what’s on offer.”

BID manager Jonny Noble added: “Now is the time for all city centre businesses to get their ducks in a row while they still have a little time to think about how they’re going to win people back.” He said it could be through simple offers and discounts, changing the way their store is laid out and how their goods are presented or through more extensive changes to their whole approach to improve the whole experience for consumers. “It’s not just shops, of course,” said Mr Noble. “We have some brilliant leisure and hospitality businesses and, although they will have to re-open more gradually, there is much they can do to alter and upgrade their offerings. For instance, we are lobbying the Council on their behalf to help make it easier for them to provide an outdoor service from April 12, when Step Two of the Government’s road map kicks in.”

He said whatever the business is and whatever it comes up with, the BID wants to hear about it so it can do everything it can to help promote those improvements, enticements and customer incentives.

Mr Noble added: “Bradford city centre has some fabulous businesses but they can be inclined to hide their lights under a bushel and not do enough to tell people what they have to offer. The BID and the T&A want to help change that. The city centre has some fantastically loyal customers and they deserve to see a different and better city centre evolving. We aim to lead that change on behalf of our 600 levy-payers and this is where that starts.”

Businesses are urged to contact the BID as soon as possible at to let them know their plans so work can begin on preparing marketing and promotional efforts. For more information, see the BID website:

Businesses can share ‘it only takes a minute to shine’ video

February 6th, 2021

BUSINESSES in the Bradford district are being given the chance to showcase themselves in a short video. The Telegraph & Argus, Bradford Means Business and LOCALiQ all want local businesses to send in a video.

T&A sales director Steve Lowe said: “Why not share a video with us and we’ll put them all together in a special dedicated where we can showcase the fantastic businesses we have in Bradford and around us. In less than 60 seconds tell us about you, your business, what you offer, a message to your customers and to potential new ones.” Each video will sit as part of a Connecting Local Business campaign in the T&A, on the Bradford Means Business website and their YouTube channel – all for free.

Steve said: “Over the next few weeks we are all sitting waiting for businesses to be kick-started back into action, so why not take a few minutes to record what you and your business has to offer, whether you are closed and looking forward to welcoming customers back, open behind closed doors or trading as normal, you all have a story to tell and a reason we should use your goods and services when it is safe to do so. Once you’ve sent us your video, visit our Bradford Means Business Facebook page, click to attend our ‘Love LOCAL business’ Facebook Event and along with every other business who sends us a video we will create a community of fellow local businesses all sharing their videos too.”

The Facebook event will take place in the week commencing February 22 – supported by editorial coverage in the T&A, Bradford Means Business and our weekly newspapers alongside an online marketing campaign – so together let’s shout about you and your business and get your customers excited too. All you need to do is create your own 60-second video, ideally film it in your shop, pub or restaurant to highlight what you offer; you could be open, closed, open behind closed doors; you could be a tradesman that shares the story of what you do and the work you have done; and click our event page on Facebook and click to attend

Send the video in this format: Record on your mobile phone in portrait mode; no more than 60 seconds; include your name; where you are based, what you do/offer and why we should use you; be smiley, welcoming and yourself; email your video to with your contact details including contact telephone number. The deadline for videos is February 15 at 5pm.

Steve said: “In return, we will put your video on our Bradford Means Business website and YouTube channel; we will create a dedicated page on the T&A website for those wanting to have your video seen there too; we will create an editorial and advertising campaign to tell the 600k plus readers/visitors of the T&A/Craven Herald/Ilkley Gazette and Keighley News to see your video and we will run a Facebook event week commencing February 22 so the Facebook world to find your video too.”

Bradford 2025 City of Culture bid

February 5th, 2021

Bradford 2025 City of Culture bid will be a ‘game changer’ according to University chiefs

Bradford BID receives national BID Foundation’s kitemark

February 3rd, 2021

BRADFORD Business Improvement District (BID) has become one of the first in the country to achieve prestigious recognition for its high standards – despite being only two years old.

To date, only 10 BIDs – out of more than 330 nationwide – have been awarded The BID Foundation’s kitemark, which has been developed in consultation with BIDs, levy-payer groups and policy-makers, including the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to provide a benchmark for quality and governance.

Jonny Noble, Bradford BID manager, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be awarded this recognition, especially as we’ve only been in operation for two years. The first seven BIDs to achieve it were well-established organisations that took part in an initial pilot so, in effect, Bradford is one of the first three to have got there under our own steam. So we’re enormously pleased that all that hard work has been recognised and the industry itself has rated our achievements to date so highly.”

The BID Foundation’s Industry Standards were launched in December 2020 to help increase the transparency, accountability and professionalism of the industry and are designed to drive and embed best practice across the sector. They include 11 tests for BIDs, ranging from how easy the BID is to contact and to access information from, to important measures to ensure they are public and transparent.

The Standards cover key aspects of a BID’s structure and operations including its business plan, governance and reporting, directors and personal interests, and detail on ballot results. They have been introduced as a result of recommendations made following recent research into the BID sector and its development in the UK.

To win accreditation, BIDs must pass a rigorous assessment process, completed independently by the Institute of Place Management (IPM). Following submission of evidence from BIDs, an audit is completed to ensure a BID’s online presence and information on its structures and processes meet the Industry Standards. The process normally involves feedback and suggested revisions in order to become compliant with the standards, with further audits undertaken on additional evidence provided by each BID. The kitemark is awarded for a 12-month period, with compliance reviewed after this time to ensure continuing transparency and quality in the sector.

Bradford BID chairman Ian Ward, who is also general manager of The Broadway shopping centre, said winning the accreditation at such an early stage, and with the pandemic going on throughout half of the BID’s existence, was a “remarkable accomplishment.”

Mr Ward said: “It’s a fantastic achievement by Jonny Noble and his small-but-perfectly-formed team. They have worked extremely hard to achieve this, both before and during lockdown, and it’s a real testament to their determination to do the right thing for Bradford and it’s often hard-pressed businesses. We are also blessed with an enormously supportive and engaged operating board, who play a really active role in overseeing the running of the BID and ensuring that we maintain high standards at all times. We have very high attendance at all our monthly board meetings – far more so than with other BIDs I have worked with – and it really shows in the quality of our work and the ideas and imagination invested in everything we have achieved to date. It’s still early days for Bradford BID and, even though our third year has begun in difficult circumstances with the national lockdown, I am very confident that this accreditation will put an extra spring in our step and the city centre will reap the benefits when the restrictions are eased and we can all start getting properly back on our feet.”

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