It is heartening to read the news that an increasing number of businesses are choosing Bradford as the location for their corporate headquarters.
Bradford has been much maligned over the past few decades but the fact is that the City and District are home to many successful businesses.
Bradford has more manufacturing industry than the UK average, despite the loss of wool textiles over the post-war period, and no doubt many of these will have taken advantage of the drop in the value of the pound sterling post the UK’s decision to leave the EU, to grow exports.
The report in the Telegraph & Argus also highlighted the amount of cash reserves businesses have accumulated, often very large but illustrating an element of caution brought about by Brexit and its complex and wide-ranging ramifications. They say that cautiousness is a Yorkshire trait; we don’t like to get too carried away.
Bradfordians have a reputation for not singing their own praises and for being critical of their own City.
Of course, some are mature enough to remember the times when Bradford’s wealth was surpassed only by London (in terms of Rolls Royce cars per head of population, for example) and it was a very wealthy place. This may, in truth, have been embellished over time and we conveniently forget the undesirable aspects such as all the smog and other industrial pollution. Also, in days gone by, the road network around Bradford City Centre was composed of narrow streets around tall buildings and chimneys, whereas now routes have been opened up, though it must be said, not adequately enough to cope with the rising volumes of traffic.
Andrew Idle Associates have seen many changes over the 28 years we’ve operated from Bradford. Some of these have been less successful than others, but the City continues to evolve and its wide ethnic mix has enabled it to diversify somewhat. If educational attainment here continues to improve, then the youngsters of today will hopefully become the successful entrepreneurs of Bradford tomorrow.