13 December 2017

"Bradford the Best City in the Country to start a Business"

Bradford City Park
Author Jonfarman

Jane Lambert

According to The Business Desk, Bradford Telegraph & Argus and Yorkshire Post, Bradford is the best city in the UK to start a business. I have not yet found the source of those reports even though I have been googling away all morning but they all quote a Barclays’ SME Growth Factors Index. Apparently the index compares the strength of 12 key growth factors such as business rate relief, infrastructure, broadband speed and labour productivity and Bradford comes out top on road connectivity, job vacancies, commercial rents and business rate relief.

Now the first thing to say is congratulations to Bradford and its people. The city has many strengths such as a fine university, the Alhambra theatre, St George's Hall now undergoing refurbishment, the Science and Media Museum, Salts Mill, Cartwright Hall and some strong businesses in manufacturing, financial services and retailing. It is the first UNESCO city of film and its city centre has recently been rejuvenated by the City Park shown above and the new Broadway shopping centre.

However, the very factors that placed Bradford on top, namely  job vacancies, low rents and rate supports, also suggest that there are a lot of people looking for work as well as a lot of empty premises waiting for tenants. As for Bradford's road connectivity, it may get high marks for the M606's starting close to the city centre but anyone from the south of the city struggling to catch a flight at Yeadon will have been less than impressed with the ring road. It is much easier for folk in my corner of Kirklees to reach Ringway, Doncaster or even Speke by road even though Yeadon is closest as the crow flies. I would add that there is also a direct rail link from Huddersfield to the airports at Manchester and Liverpool but there is not even a rail link to Leeds or Bradford from what is officially called the Leeds Bradford International Airport.

Also, many of the most successful startups nowadays are knowledge intensive and knowledge requires protection, careful nurturing and strategic commercialisation.  The folk who are best help with that are intellectual property specialists, that is to say attorneys, specialist lawyers and business advisers. According to the Office for National Statistics there were 528,155 inhabitants in Bradford but there appear to be no firms of patent attorneys in the city. When I entered the address of Bradford University into the CIPA "Find a Patent Attorney" form I found none within 10 or even 15 miles of the city centre. The nearest was in Halifax followed by a few more in Leeds.  Considering that Bradford even has a street near Lister's Mill called "Patent Street" that is surprising.

Now I can help with IP and indeed I have helped many businesses in the city over the last 20 years. I can help those with an idea for a new product of process (see Service for Inventors) and those establishing themselves in the market place (see Services relating to Branding) as well as established businesses and investors. Should anyone in Bradford or elsewhere wish to discuss any of those issues call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact form.