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Three Bradford employers in Sunday Times Best Places To Work

May 24th, 2024

THREE Bradford employers have been named in The Sunday Times Best Places To Work 2024.  Arts organisation Bradford 2025, manufacturer Mansfield Pollard, and legal firm Schofield Sweeney all make the nationwide list this year.  Over 70,000 companies and brands were surveyed to form the newspaper’s list.  The list looked at businesses’ ability to engage and support people of all ages.  It considered the following criteria: reward and recognition, instilling pride, information sharing, empowerment, wellbeing and job satisfaction.

Bradford 2024                                                                                                                                       Bradford 2025 was set up two years ago following the UK City of Culture winning bid. The list says the organisation has “quickly created a company culture for 56 employees”.  It added: “Set up in 2022 when Bradford won a bid to become UK City of Culture, the mid-sized arts organisation has quickly created a company culture for 56 employees.  There is an induction programme for new staff members, fortnightly all-company sessions and events to celebrate Pride, black history and mental awareness.  Perks include an employee assistance helpline, high street discounts and flexible work patterns.”

Mansfield Pollard                                                                                                                                      Dudley Hill-based Mansfield Pollard was praised for giving all its employees a £2,500 pay rise to help with the cost of living.  The list said: “A ventilation specialist that has breathed fresh air into the business with an overhaul of the culture and new facilities after a management buyout in 2020, the same year it moved to a 64,000-square feet state-of-the-art headquarters in Bradford.  New initiatives introduced by chief executive Louise Frankland include an employee forum.  Last year, all 146 employees received a £2,500 pay rise to help with the cost of living.  Other rewards include a day off for birthdays and paid charity days.”

Schofield Sweeney                                                                                                                               Schofield Sweeney is located in the city centre and has 167 employees.  It has been highlighted as “one of the best work/life balances in the profession”.  The list said: “It is not all about work at the law firm that battled for sub-postmasters in the Post Office scandal.  Schofield Sweeney, based in Bradford, aims to offer its 167 employees one of the best work/life balances in the profession.  There are tea and toast Thursdays, Iftar meals, massages, posture clinics and one volunteering day annually.  The firm has a book club and bake-off competition, a healthcare insurance plan and has promoted its first non-lawyers to associate and director level.”  It comes after the firm was named Employer of the Year Award at the Bradford Means Business Awards last summer.


Ceremony celebrates Bradford multi-cultural tree’s message

December 7th, 2023

A MULTI-cultural festive tree in Bradford is sending a united message of peace and togetherness this Christmas.  Adorned with bright baubles, the tree can be seen standing tall in Centenary Square, opposite the historic City Hall.  In a world facing grief, pain, and conflict, it’s hoped the tree will send a poignant reminder about Bradford’s strong multicultural friendships.  It is a symbol of how communities and businesses from different faiths and backgrounds live and work together.

After many late nights, Mr Kader helped unveil the tree alongside representatives from different religions.  As part of the ceremony, four baubles were added to the tree by Manoj Joshi DL MBE, Nirmal Singh MBE, vicar John Bavington, and Shamsuddin Ahmed.

Speaking at the ceremony in front of the tree, Mr Kader said: “Sometimes we take for granted what we actually have in our city: the great entrepreneurial spirit, the young population, and especially for me the multiculturalism in our population. In a world that’s often divided you only have to look around and realise how well we host people from so many backgrounds and cultures and are able to live in perfect harmony, enjoying each other’s cultures, foods and festivities.  The tree symbolises this in many ways. So many organisations got together to show unity and remind people of this.

Bradford is often criticised. We, the BAME business committee, are on a mission to highlight the positives and the amazing thing is we don’t have to create anything,  as most of the success is already here.  The problem is we don’t tell people about them. The city has a history of economic success which over the years has emerged as a successful and entrepreneurial city, buzzing with so many brands. Today’s agenda is about true strength, which is multiculturalism. We will be using every opportunity to tell the world how well we do this.”

Mr Joshi, a well-known philanthropist, businessman, and pharmacist, sent a powerful message. “Co-existence or no existence,” he said.  Speaking to the crowd, he said: “Being a minority within a minority, as a Hindu in Bradford, today I feel absolutely included. And I’ve always felt included. That is the history and legacy of Bradford, but the future of Bradford. The future of Bradford is about living, working and enjoying ourselves in love, peace and harmony. This is the evidence. This festive period of Christmas is an opportunity for all of us to come and celebrate the joy and love we share.”

Gill Arnold JPDL, chairman of the West Yorkshire bench of Magistrates, shared her joy at witnessing the event.  It’s inclusive,” she said.  We’ve much more in common than we’ve not. You can see, by the people who’ve turned up here, the warmth, the good relationships between us all.”

Rev Bavington, who set out to build bridges between Bradford’s communities when he first arrived in the city as an Urdu-speaking vicar, spoke about the bible.  “Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. One of the teachings of Jesus is we should love our neighbour.  The arrival of Jesus is the moment of the arrival of that message. His arrival is the epitome of showing what it means to love your neighbour. Christians believe Jesus was the epitome of love.”

Tree sponsors

  1. Platinum Partnership Solicitors
  2. Jinnah Restaurant
  3. Bombay Stores Wholesale Group
  4. Schofield Sweeney LLP
  5. Tutor Doctor Bradford Huddersfield
  6. Fairmount Properties
  7. Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd
  8. IK Collections
  9. Malik Group Holdings
  10. Love in Care
  11. Chadwick Lawrence
  12. Adams Foodservice Trading Ltd
  13. Bradford Breakthrough
  14. Incommunities
  15. Bradford Grammar School
  16. Britannia Care
  17. Bradford UK City of Culture
  18. Leeds City College , Keighley Campus
  19. A & S Leisure Group Ltd
  20. LCF Law
  21. Blacks Solicitors
  22. Telegraph & Argus
  23. African and Caribbean Business Ventures
  24. Culture City Radio
  25. Brookfield Construction Group Limited
  26. National Science and Media Museum
  27. Azets
  28. Bradford 2025
  29. Latitude Bradford Ltd
  30. Rajas
  31. Quantuma Advisory Limited
  32. Nasreen Karim
  33. Palm Cove Society
  34. Palm Cove Society
  35. Palm Cove Society
  36. Palm Cove Society
  37. Ashrock Estates
  38. Brookwater Accountants Ltd
  39. University of Bradford
  40. Sekhon Group





Delight as Bradford BID wins a second five-year term

October 4th, 2023

 ‘A FANTASTIC vote of confidence’.

That was the message after it was revealed city centre businesses had voted in favour of a second five-year term for the Bradford Business Improvement District (BID).

Almost 600 businesses were asked to vote in a secret ballot on whether they wanted the BID – which originally launched in December 2018 – to continue, along with its plans to raise £2.5 million to spend on projects to boost the city centre over the next five years.  In all, almost 82% of those who took part in the ballot voted in favour. The vote represented 75% of the individual business votes and 88% of the total rateable value of the properties owned and managed by those who voted.

The BID is a limited not-for-profit company funded by a small levy on businesses and organisations within a specified area of the city centre. It is run by a team of four (full and part-time) staff and an operating board made up of voluntary representatives of all sectors who receive no remuneration.

Under UK national regulations, BIDs have to re-ballot every five years and more than 50% of those who take part, representing more than 50% of the total rateable value of the BID area, must vote ‘yes’ for it to go ahead. Every business which pays the BID levy has the opportunity to vote.  The levy take – which applies to every business with a rateable value of £10,000 or over – is used for projects to help promote and develop the city centre and the total proceeds of about £2.5 million will be spent on projects and services that are completely over and above those provided by Bradford Council.

BID chairman Ian Ward, general manager of  The Broadway shopping centre, said: “This is a fantastic vote of confidence from our city centre businesses of all shapes and sizes and a reflection of the amazing support they have given the BID over its first five years.  I’d like to thank our members for backing our vision for the next five years and their confidence in our ability to continue to make real progress on positive changes for the future of our brilliant city.  Bradford still faces many challenges but the only way we can overcome them is by working together with a shared goal, grasping our opportunities with enthusiasm and passion and pressing on with determination and pride.  I’d also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Jonny Noble and our small-but-perfectly-formed BID team who have worked tirelessly and unceasingly through some extremely difficult times – not least the pandemic – to deliver the important projects and valuable services and support that our members needed.  Their commitment and dedication have been magnificent and I’m certain we can rely on it continuing for the next five years and beyond.”

James Paynter, Deputy BID chair, and retail area manager of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “It’s fabulous news that businesses have voted in favour of a second term.  The BID has been tremendously important for the city centre and its team has worked incredibly hard to deliver a huge range of projects over its first five years from business training to crowd-pulling flagship events, from smartening up our streets to launching brilliant initiatives like Bradford at Night, which is having a real impact on our evening and night-time economy.  It plays a vital role in protecting and supporting our high street and that role can only get bigger and more important as we head towards City of Culture 2025 and the major opportunities that will help to deliver.”

The ‘yes’ vote means that the BID can now start to deliver on its new five-year Business Plan which responds to the needs that businesses have identified, with three core strategies: creating a Positive Environment, making the city centre Better For Business and generating a Vibrant Experience.

BID manager Jonny Noble said: “I’m incredibly proud of my team and what we’ve been able to achieve in our first five years and we are all looking forward with huge enthusiasm to another five years’ working together with businesses and other partners across the city centre to continue the work we’ve started and take it to the next level.  We listen very closely to what our levy-payers tell us is needed and the fact they have voted to invest a further £2.5 million in supporting the city centre is testament to their commitment to making it a thriving place in which to live, work, invest and do business and an exciting and welcoming destination for visitors.  Our task now is to deliver on the new five-year business plan and the priorities our levy-payers have identified and we’re determined to meet the challenge.  Bradford is on its way back and we now have a mandate to play our part to our fullest potential. We can’t wait to get stuck in.”



Civic and business leaders say it’s ‘crucial’ BID wins a second term

September 18th, 2023

Civic and business leaders say they are enthusiastically supporting Bradford BID’s campaign for a second five-year term.  The Business Improvement District’s first term will come to an end later this year and the highly-praised organisation is asking more than 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations to support its continuing until at least the end of 2028 by voting “Yes” in a ballot which closes on September 28.

The BID is a limited not-for-profit company funded by a small levy on businesses and organisations within a specified area of the city centre. It is run by a team of four (full and part-time) staff and an operating board made up of voluntary representatives of all sectors who receive no remuneration.  The levy take is used for projects to help promote and develop the city centre and the total proceeds of about £2.5 million will be spent across the five years on projects and services that are completely over and above those provided by Bradford Council.

Bradford Council Leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Bradford BID has an ambitious plan that builds on the successful work already undertaken in its first five years and addresses the top priorities of businesses in the city.  I’m especially keen that the Council supports local businesses helping to deliver on the priorities around sustainable, inclusive and economic growth. The work the BID does, which complements the work of the Council, is essential for a thriving economy, boosting business and creating jobs.  The Bradford BID has a reputation as one of the most effective in the country and we’re delighted to give them our support.”

Her words were echoed by Bradford Chamber of Commerce President Mark Cowgill. He said: “Bradford BID, like the Bradford Chamber, is at the heart of the business community in the city. The difference they have made in the first five years has been remarkable.  It’s vital to city centre businesses that they get a massive ‘Yes’ vote in the upcoming ballot and I would encourage any business in the BID voting zone to vote YES immediately.  The next five years are going to be massive for the city, with the restructuring of the city centre and many other exciting developments. We need strong backing for the BID so our businesses get the support they need and deserve from the BID team and the Chamber of Commerce to help them make the most of the opportunities that will come over the next few years.”

Bradford Breakthrough, which represents senior leaders of influential businesses and organisations across the city, is also backing the call for a second BID term.  Chief executive Dr Trevor Higgins said: “Bradford Breakthrough have supported the BID since its launch five years ago. Since then the BID has made a hugely positive difference – with the promises made in its original business plan largely delivered – and the city centre is a much better place to visit, for business or for leisure, than it was before. This is a tremendously exciting time with many great things on the cusp of delivery, such as Bradford Live, Darley Street Market, the transformation of The National Science and Media Museum and, of course, Bradford City of Culture 2025!  Bradford BID is umbilically linked to all these schemes. For me, continuation of the BID, for another five years, is a ‘no brainer.’ We have achieved great things over the last five years – just imagine what could be achieved over the next five!”

Smaller businesses are also getting behind the BID and urging city centre traders to return their ballot papers with a ‘Yes’ vote as soon as possible.

Barney Mynott, West Yorkshire Development Manager at the federation for Small Businesses said: “Local business owners are best served when we work together. For us to work with another business organisation requires two things: absolute confidence that the other business organisation is professional and has expert knowledge; and there needs to be an outward looking, generous culture that supports collaboration. Bradford BID is definitely both these things. Their knowledge of city centre businesses is second to none. We really benefit from their insight and knowledge (and the work they did during Covid to ensure businesses got the grants they were entitled to should never be forgotten).  Their work in the city centre is so important to building pride in Bradford. This has never been so important as we look forward to City of Culture status.  They are also a generous partner to work with, freely providing information, time and effort that helps us better understand business needs in Bradford. There are always barriers when working with other organisations. But the approach the BID takes means that these are minimised, and it has always been a pleasure to work with them.  In short, Bradford BID is a vital part of the jigsaw that will enable us together to grow the whole Bradford District economy.”

LOCALiQ launches Annual State of Digital Marketing Survey

July 18th, 2023

LOCALiQ has launched an exclusive study to detail the state of digital marketing in the UK.

In 2022 LOCALiQ surveyed over 300 businesses. This year they aim to build on that success and attract even more participants from managerial and marketing backgrounds.  Last year’s data revealed that almost 50% of marketers thought that marketing had changed more in the last 2 years than it has in the past 50.  In addition to this, 70% of respondents reported they struggled to keep up with advancements in marketing technology. Over the past 12 months, we have seen a meteoric rise in AI.

In this year’s State of Digital Marketing Survey, LOCALiQ will look to uncover if and how businesses have adapted to this shift in technology, as well as the challenges and opportunities businesses will no doubt be confronted with now that AI has started to take centre stage.

The survey will dive deeper into the industry’s hottest topics such as AI and marketing technology, whilst also revealing what UK businesses deem to be the critical elements of digital marketing.  From marketing channels and marketing performance to budgets and trend predictions – these answers can help form a better understanding of the current state of marketing in the UK whilst also outlining what is in store for 2024 and beyond.

To complete the survey please visit:

The past 12 months have been some of the most turbulent yet for marketers. The constant changes combined with stretched marketing budgets mean it has never been more vital for businesses to understand exactly how their investments shape up compared to those of their competitors.  LOCALiQ believes that this year’s State of Digital Marketing Report will help many local businesses understand how they compare against similar businesses and assess their current and future marketing plans.

Nikki Broxup, Marketing Director of LOCALiQ – the digital marketing business of Newsquest Media Group commented “The digital marketing industry has experienced significant developments over the past year. AI is everywhere, with businesses navigating how to balance the benefits while mitigating the potential drawbacks.  As the leading digital marketing partner to local businesses across the UK, and with insights into more than 200 local communities through our Newsquest publications, we’re excited to launch our 2023 State of Digital Marketing Survey, enabling us to gain a comprehensive understanding of how local businesses have tackled and surmounted challenges, as well as pinpoint the crucial digital marketing strategies for the future.”

LOCALiQ invites all UK business owners and marketing personnel to complete the survey and contribute to this extensive research. As a reward, all participants will get an exclusive first look at the survey later this year and will also be entered into a prize draw to win an Amazon gift card.


Bradford BID to reveal £2.5m city centre improvement plan

June 30th, 2023

A STRATEGY for up to £2.5 million of improvements to the city centre will be revealed at the launch of Bradford BID’s new five-year business plan next week.

The Business Improvement District’s first term will come to an end later this year and the organisation will launch a ballot at the end of August to secure a second five years.  Almost 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations will be asked to support the BID in the ballot, which if successful will see the organisation run until the end of 2028.  The results are set to be announced at the end of September.

The BID is a limited not-for-profit company funded by a small levy on businesses and organisations, and the money it raises is used for projects to help promote and develop the city centre.

Ian Ward, general manager of The Broadway shopping centre and chairman of the BID, said: “The BID and its hard-working team have achieved an astonishing amount over our first term to date and have quickly gained a reputation as one of the best organised and most effective business improvement districts in the country.  We have smartened up the city centre, helped improve safety, boosted footfall, generated trade through events and promotion, supported – and provided a voice for – businesses and lobbied local, regional and national authorities for improvements.  But we believe the work has only just started and there is so much more to come,” he added.

An independent survey of city centre businesses found that 89 per cent of those responding agreed the BID had “made an impact” and 94 per cent said that a second term would “benefit the city centre”.

The BID’s objectives for the second term will focus on creating a positive environment, making the city centre a better place to do business and generating a vibrant experience for all those who live, work, visit and enjoy their leisure time there.

A £2.5m business plan launch will take place on Thursday, July 6, at The Light Cinema.

BID manager Jonny Noble said the work of the BID will play a “crucial role” in preparing the city centre for its year in the spotlight as UK City of Culture 2025.  “It’s vital that we’re there to help the city centre, its retailers, its hospitality venues, its leisure attractions and the people who live and work here to make the most of the opportunity City of Culture provides, along with the other major developments that will be coming on stream.”


Bradford firm BTL group receives Queen’s Award for Enterprise

January 19th, 2023

A BRADFORD technology provider was presented has been presented with a prestigious award.  BTL Group received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Excellence in International Trade) from the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson CBE, on Tuesday (January 17).   The award recognises the firm’s success in the assessment industry and significant levels of investment.

Saltaire-based BTL, trading as Surpass Assessment, works with local education providers and won an award in 2021 for supporting Shipley College and young students taking T-Level qualifications.

Dr Bob Gomersall, founder and BTL Chairman, said: “I am proud that we have won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.  The technology we provide is used all over the world. Our people come from a very wide background, but they all have a passion for what we do and doing it as well as we can.  We have advocated and embraced remote working technology for over 35 years, and we’re delighted our technology has had a positive role to play in the Covid-19 pandemic by allowing exams to be taken at home in a secure way.”

The firm employs around 170 staff in the UK and US. In 2022, Surpass delivered more than three million tests to 78 countries around the world.




University of Bradford develops smart contact lens for eye infections

December 12th, 2022

UNIVERSITY of  Bradford scientists have developed a pioneering ‘smart contact lens’ to test for eye infections in a quick and non-invasive way.  It is hoped the test could eventually be available to the general public – both in the UK and internationally – and it has been hailed the next big leap in the global fight against preventable blindness.  It could even prevent deaths caused by fungal eye infections in developing countries.

Professor of Chemistry at the University of Bradford, Stephen Rimmer, said: “We have produced a smart hydrogel which can detect two types of bacteria and fungus.  This device is made from materials similar to those used to make contact lenses, which would be safely applied to the eye. The microorganisms get stuck to the material and can then be analysed.”

Currently, detecting which bacteria or fungus is present in an eye infection is an invasive process where a tissue sample of the patient’s eye is taken under anaesthetic.  The sample is then cultured – which can take two days – before being studied under a microscope.

Professor Rimmer’s test would involve the patient wearing the lens for an hour, with the results determined soon afterwards.  “The current method is not a nice procedure and takes time,” he added.  “We are working on producing a visible colour change on the lens to show which bacteria or fungus is present. This could then be photographed and uploaded to a website for an expert to analyse.  The expert could then determine whether the patient needs antibiotics or further investigation.  Our goal is that someone on the street could do it with no training.”

Initial tests have yielded positive results and human trials will be carried out when further funding is secured.  The test could be vital in developing, tropical countries, where infections are often detected too late to save a person’s eye.

In India there has been a rise in deaths from mucormycosis, or ‘black fungus’, and people with diabetes and those who have been treated for Covid-19 with steroids have an almost 50% mortality rate.

Professor Rimmer is working with the world-leading L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India, as well as Dr Tom Swift, lecturer in polymer chemistry at the University of Bradford. “Eye infections in places like India can prove catastrophic,” Professor Rimmer said.  “We know our method works in the lab. What we want to do now is make it so someone can use it in a rural clinic in India.”



University of Bradford celebrates 25 years of Dubai MBA

December 2nd, 2022

THE UNIVERSITY of Bradford marked 25 years of running its Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Dubai by hosting a networking event at the city’s British High Commission.  The University was first invited to Dubai by Emirates Airlines in 1997 to offer its MBA to senior staff, and two-and-a-half decades later, the Dubai Executive MBA offer extends to the broader corporate world in the United Arab Emirates.

Founded in 1963, the University of Bradford’s School of Management is one of the oldest business schools in the UK.  The School has received several accolades, most recently being named Business School of the Year 2021 at the Times Higher Education Awards.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon, who led the event, said: “As one of the first UK universities to deliver an MBA in Dubai, the University of Bradford has already made a significant contribution to the socio-economic context of the UAE through developing responsible leaders.  Our senior management team and expert professors are working on plans to introduce new programmes to the UAE market, focused on supporting the region’s socio-economic priorities.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Zahir Irani, added: “I am excited to lead our strategic plan for Dubai and look forward to working closely with colleagues in our Dubai hub and local stakeholders in the UAE to extend our high-quality education offer to a broader audience in the country.  Our Executive MBA is well respected and, indeed, has been undertaken by many who have gone into executive roles.  We are currently working with leading corporations in the region to extend the University of Bradford’s corporate social  responsibility agenda.   The University of Bradford has over 145,000 alumni in 180 countries. We have global reach, and a global outlook, both of which are necessary to meet the challenges of the modern world.”

Shahid Baloch, Executive Vice President at Commercial Banking at United Arab Bank, himself completed his Dubai MBA in 2001. “I recognise the significant value of maintaining professional development and this is my ambition for the alumni here,” he said. Together with my colleague Dimitri Savvaidis, we have initiated the ‘UoB UAE Alumni Group’ to provide a forum for networking opportunities, and to provide continued learning and development via a series of events, organised in conjunction with the university.”

Other guests attending the event included governmental institutions, staff from the University of Bradford regional hub in Dubai and senior staff from the UK.


University of Bradford launches Renduchintala Centre for Space AI

October 14th, 2022

THE UNIVERSITY of Bradford’s new ‘space centre’ will enable it to take part in a global conversation, according to the former student who donated £2m to make it happen.

Dr Venkata ‘Murthy Renduchintala was on campus yesterday to officially open the Bradford-Renduchintala Centre for Space AI.  The University already has plans in place to launch its own ‘pocket cube’ satellite into space in the second quarter of 2024.

Speaking at the launch event, Dr Renduchintala – who studied at the University from 1983 to 1991 and went on to become chief engineering officer at microchip company Intel – said: “I’ve reached a point in my life where I’d like to return in kind what Bradford has given me, which is a foundation on which I built my career. I am really happy to be able to give back to the University in an area which is of strategic importance to them.  I think it’s going to be a game changing course and something that will set the University apart not just in the region but in the country.  This is about giving Bradford something unique to exploit on a national and global forum but also to exploit the talents of the academic and student pool that exists here.  We will continue to see technology used in ways that will improve people’s lives. For example, we all take things like satellite communications for granted, the way we look at real-time transmissions around the globe, and the way we use AI through agents such as Alexa or Siri, so just think what we can achieve in the next five years as those technologies move to the next stage.”

The launch ceremony was attended by a host of distinguished guests, including the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Martin Love and the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, Sue Baker.

Kathie Bowden from the UK Space Agency and Dr Mandy Ridyard, from Yorkshire Space Hub, were also there, while a message of support was played from Dr Mike Short CBE, chief scientific adviser at the Department of International Trade.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon said: “We are proud and excited to be part of what is an entirely new venture for the University.  This is not just about building on our past experience, it is also about looking to the future, creating new opportunities for students, staff and our industry partners, inspiring young people and seizing the moment.”

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