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University of Bradford welcomes West Yorkshire Investment Zone


campus and Bradford at night

The University of Bradford's Vice-Chancellor, Shirley Congdon, says the new West Yorkshire Investment Zone will create more opportunities for the university’s students and staff to develop and support high tech businesses in the region and for commercialising inventions and discoveries.

England's third Investment Zone, which was announced by the Government on Monday (20 November), will be focused around universities in Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds, and could unlock £220m in investment. It aims to create more than 2,500 new jobs across the region over the next five years.

Professor Congdon said: "This is welcome news for Bradford and West Yorkshire. Our students, graduates and staff make an immense contribution to our region and our partners. 

"The West Yorkshire Investment Zone will create an environment in which we can do so much more, amplifying academic strengths like applied AI, digital health and advanced manufacturing, and organisational abilities like working with businesses and commercialising our inventions and discoveries."

Associate Director, Research & Innovation, Dr Liam Sutton, added: "This has been a robust, evidence-led, process among diverse organisations with a common purpose: improving the opportunities for business and investors to grow economic activity in digital and health technologies, in partnership with West Yorkshire’s places and universities.

"At our University, it will be easier than ever for businesses and entrepreneurs to access our education, facilities and technology capabilities. There will be complementary improvements to services at our fellow universities, just as our partner local authorities deliver new capital projects in Leeds and Huddersfield as well as here in Bradford."

Economic growth 

Twelve Investment Zones will be created across the UK. Two were announced in July 2023 - the South Yorkshire Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone and one in Liverpool focusing on the life sciences industry. The Investment Zones programme has been designed to provide local leaders with tools to boost the the UK's innovation potential, grow strengths in key industries to drive growth and level up communities. 

Announcing the new Zone, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said; "We are changing our country for the long term, driving economic growth across all corners of the UK. It will mean thousands more jobs in the exciting industries of the future, backed up by better infrastructure and communities to be proud of."

West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin, said: "This investment is a massive vote of confidence in our top-tier universities and talented graduates and will help our mission to build a stronger, brighter region that works for all."

Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: "Bradford has a celebrated heritage built on innovation and we're excited about the opportunities this investment will bring. 

"Bradford will be one of the core locations for investment and the zone will focus on Bradford and West Yorkshire's strengths in health and digital technology, including digitally-enabled manufacturing."