Bradford Northern Powerhouse Rail station could boost northern economy by £15bn

Research by analysts at GENECON, the specialist economic development consultancy, has for the first time revealed the full economic impact potential of a Bradford city centre station on Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR). If Bradford Council secures the backing of Transport for the North and central government, the North’s economy could benefit by up to £15bn in additional GVA by 2060. 

The emerging research findings from GENECON, unveiled at MIPIM in Cannes this week, also estimate that investing in a revamped Bradford Interchange, serving traditional rail and bus services as well as a new east-west high-speed link, could generate up to 15,000 new jobs across Leeds city region. 

The research has been commissioned by Bradford Council to help support the campaign to secure a city centre station on NPR and make the case to government and Transport for the North. It has analysed how improved high-speed connectivity could be the catalyst for wider city centre regeneration, significantly improving Bradford’s offer and making the city a more attractive place to live, work and invest in. A decision is expected on the preferred rail route by the end of the year. 

Two new CGIs have also been released that show how Bradford Interchange and the surrounding area could be transformed by investing in a city centre station as part of NPR. The vision for the station shows a more open, public area in front of a multi-levelled Interchange with NPR on the lowest level. 

The transformed Interchange with NPR would see journey times to Manchester and Leeds reduced to 20 minutes and seven minutes respectively as well as acting as a catalyst for further regeneration and investment across the city. If it receives the green light from government, NPR is expected to be up and running in the mid-2030s.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, West Yorkshire Combined Authority chair and Bradford Council leader, said: “A city centre station in Bradford would transform our city and enable us to punch our weight as a driver of the Northern Powerhouse economy to the tune of up to £15bn by 2060. That is the definition of transformational change, and it is exactly the impact that an ambitious project like NPR is trying to achieve.

“Only a city centre NPR station will have this game-changing impact for our city, finally getting Bradford off the branch line and unleashing the huge economic potential of the UK’s youngest city.”

Transport for the North’s 30-year Draft Transport Plan launched in January, outlines a vision for transformational transport investment across the north of England, including a new east-west Northern Powerhouse Rail line connecting Manchester and Leeds, via Bradford. 

The Next Stop Bradford campaign was launched in 2017 to make the case for a city centre station in Bradford as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail. More information about the campaign can be found at   

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