by BEP Chair, David Baldwin

Back in April 2018, the Yorkshire Post invited the Bradford Economic Partnership to write a column for this prestigious title. The offer was simple: to produce a “thought piece” that covered business from a Bradford, national or international perspective.  We like a wide-ranging brief and jumped at the chance. We have a great many stories to tell here in Bradford and the Yorkshire Post is one of Britain’s great newspapers.

Since then, the offer has been extended and is ongoing. At the time of writing, we have put our name to more than 30 published columns. That’s 21,000 words and counting of positive and thought-provoking copy about our district, which as regular readers will know is home to some extraordinarily talented people and frankly world-class businesses.

The column started not long after the launch of our Economic Growth Strategy. It was good timing, as we set out our plans for the district to become the UK’s fastest-growing economy over the coming decade, increasing the value of our economy by £4bn, getting 20,000 more people into work and improving the skills of 48,000 residents.

Our strategy is what economists might call asset-based: that is, we are focusing on our existing strengths to achieve our ambitions and deliver for the coming generations. Our four key opportunities are our young and enterprising population, our distinctive architecture, heritage and cultural jewels, our business and sector expertise and our global connections. Who could argue with that?

The column is not about me, it is about Bradford and the many incredible and inspiring stories that emerge from our district. We believe our growing bank of work is helping to spread the word that, actually, there is something special happening here and business leaders, investors and politicians at a national level have the opportunity to play a part in our success story.

I hope you enjoy these columns and that you discover new things about our pioneering, confident and connected district. If you find a story that inspires you, please share it with your friends and followers. We would like to thank the Yorkshire Post for giving us the platform to publish these columns and you, dear reader, for reading them.

Dave Baldwin, November 2018