Bringing the beat back to Bradford

Bradford Business Lunch talks all things Bradford Live

5 Mar 2020

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Last Friday (28th February), Dan Boulger from the NEC Group spoke all about Bradford Live at The Business Desk Yorkshire’s Bradford Business Lunch. If you weren’t able to make it, don’t worry – we’ve got the lowdown for you right here!

90 of the top businesspeople from across Bradford and Leeds headed to the sold-out event at Jinnah Restaurant, sponsored by Schofield Sweeney solicitors. Also speaking was Kersten England CBE, chief executive of Bradford Council who provided an insightful overview of how she saw the whole city’s future.

In his speech, Dan firstly introduced the NEC Group before recapping on 2019’s demolition and reminding everyone that construction is planned to start in the summer. He explained that when complete, the NEC Group will come in and take on a 30-year lease to open the venue – doing their own final fitout, getting those all-important artists on the stage, and providing catering, hospitality, conferencing and ticketing services too.

He then moved on to explain why the NEC Group wanted to be a part of Kersten’s ‘Team Bradford’, describing Bradford as a ‘city that feels like it is on an upward curve’ and spoke of PwC’s arrival in the city, the One City Park development, the Darley Street market development and the reopening of St. George’s Hall as an increasing number of important steps forward.

Dan said that the NEC Group wanted to be a part of Bradford’s success in the future and would be fully backing the City of Culture 2025 bid, a high-speed rail link coming through the city and hoped our arrival will help raise the profile of the vibrant cultural scene that already exists in Bradford.

To finish with a quote from the man himself:

“It is the excitement of opening a venue as good as Bradford Live will be that brought me to this role, and I’ll know we have succeeded when we see happy faces leaving the venue in their hundreds and thousands. However, what makes me put so much into the job is the thought that it could make a step change in Bradford’s fortune. We estimate 300,000 visitors will buy tickets for our shows every year and they will eat and drink in the city, they’ll park, shop and stay in hotels. Also, if I see Bradford Live mentioned in the University prospectus to increase the attractiveness of coming here to study, for example, or find out that we have contributed to a company’s reasoning for bringing their offices to Bradford, I’ll know we have done a good job!
Bradford Live won’t be successful in isolation, it needs a strong and growing city which we hope to contribute to in the same way that the NEC has done to the West Midlands region – we hope to help the city continue to grow and flourish.”

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