ECF signs agreement with Bradford Council for City Village

17.05.23 5 min read by Ryan Devlin

Our joint venture, ECF, has signed a pre-development agreement with City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. The partners will collaborate over the coming months to look at how to deliver the regeneration of ‘City Village’ in the heart of the city centre.

ECF is our strategic joint venture with Legal & General, one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and major global investor, and the government’s housing and regeneration agency, Homes England. The partnership was set up in 2001, to bring together the best of the public and private sector, to transform urban areas and create exceptional new places.

ECF and Bradford Council will now explore and shape the key elements for delivery, funding and phasing of City Village, which will include the former Kirkgate and Oastler Markets area of the city.

Bradford City Village is an ambitious initiative to deliver up to 1,000 high-quality homes in the city centre. The plans are to create a safe, healthy, attractive neighbourhood; with high-quality public spaces, modern landscaping and traffic-calmed streets. City Village will set the tone for the district’s ongoing regeneration strategy, design quality and sustainable development expected for residential living in the 21st century.

Building on the momentum of the new Darley Street Market development and the council’s recent purchase of Kirkgate Shopping Centre, the foundations necessary to secure this vibrant and diverse new neighbourhood are coming together. Following on from the Top of Town Townscape investment and key public space improvements through Transforming Cities Fund, City Village will boost new opportunities for revitalised independent retail, cafes, bars and new business spaces. Once completed, Darley Street markets will release the former Oastler Market site for redevelopment, alongside the Kirkgate Shopping Centre.

The design, delivery and long-term vision for this key intervention in the city, will seek to secure a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable place for residents, businesses and visitors. It will demonstrate positive urban design for 21st century city living and act as a catalyst for even further investment in improving the buildings, heritage assets, streets and green spaces across the city centre.

Bradford has a £1bn pipeline of regeneration, to create opportunities to shape and bring investment into the city at pace and scale. Key developments currently underway, include One City Park, Bradford Live, along with Keighley and Shipley Towns Fund projects. Preparations to host Bradford 2025 – the UK’s next city of Culture – continue apace.

A new Southern Gateway partnership is also driving forward a 312-acre, once-in-a-generation opportunity that could create 27,000 new jobs and bring a 10-year, £30 billion uplift to the city.

Simon Dew, said:

Bradford is a progressive city, with the same vision as ours, of delivering regeneration that focuses on people, place and planet, and we’re excited to be announcing our latest partnership with City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. All three joint venture partners are currently investing in Bradford and have come together to unlock the creation of the new City Village community, which will provide fantastic opportunities for economic and social growth that will help communities in the city to thrive and prosper for the long term. We’re at the start of our collective journey together and we’re looking forward to further strengthening our close partnership with the council, to deliver place-changing regeneration in the heart of Bradford city centre.”

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “This is a very significant announcement for us, demonstrating the momentum and power of public-private partnership to invest in one of the most vital Cities in England. With Bradford Live, One City Park and Darley Street Market opening in 2024 it is right we look to the medium term for the next phase of renewal of the City. The confidence of Legal and General, Muse Places and Homes England just shows the progress we are making we welcome this collaboration with ECF”

David Shepherd, strategic director – place at Bradford Council, said “there are so many exciting things happening in Bradford District, this is a practical collaboration with some of the biggest partners in UK asset ownership and regeneration delivery. It represents a further vote of confidence for Bradford City and district.  We look forward to sharing our plans at UKREIIF, and over the next few months and years as we support and enable investors and developers to work with us to unleash the power of our people, places and businesses”.

City Village also features in the new Strategic Place Partnership (SPP) between WYCA, the five local authorities and Homes England. Also launching at UKREIIF, the SPP will bring further support to other regeneration priority areas for Bradford District including Canal Road, Holmewood urban extension and more.

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