Bradford district is to benefit from a series of large-scale, innovative projects designed to increase economic growth and culture thanks to Bradford Council’s successful bid for £2.7m in funding from the Leeds City Region Partnership.
Three projects – one boosting recruitment and skills in health and social care, another improving employment opportunities in two of the district’s most deprived areas, and a third supporting the cultural sector to increase activity, skills and infrastructure, will share £2.2m.
A fourth, designed to develop film and television skills across the Leeds City Region, will be run by Bradford Council in conjunction with Bradford UNESCO City of Film and Screen Yorkshire with £500,000 of Business Rates Pool funding.
The Business Rates Pool enables members of the Leeds City Region Partnership to retain and invest the proceeds of growth in business rates.
Bradford District Health and Social Care One Workforce project will increase health and social jobs and skills by creating a Bradford Health and Social Care Economic Partnership, establishing a local recruitment and selection programme and developing a specialist research and training academy.
The Bradford and Keighley Community Led Local Development programme will offer job seeking and application skills, provide taster and work experience sessions and help people plan career pathways in key high deprivation areas within Bradford district. The programme will also run tailored business support with training, advice, mentoring and coaching sessions for local entrepreneurs
The third project will support the growth of festivals and other major cultural and sporting events. This will boost skills development, increase visitors to Bradford district and attract more creative businesses into the area.
The Bradford-based Screen Skills Diversity Project will help people across the region from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to gain skills and jobs in the film and television industry. Training, apprenticeships, industry-specific work experience, careers information and advance, mentoring and bursaries will be provided and a Film and Television Industrial Centre of Excellence will link curriculums with the specific needs of the creative sector.
Twenty projects across the region have received £12.9m in funding from the scheme.
Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “We’re really pleased to have secured this funding for Bradford district in three key areas.
“We know that by 2030 we will need another 15,000 health workers in the district, this money will be an investment in the workforce of the future.
“The Screen Yorkshire investment we are leading for the region is absolutely right for Bradford as UNESCO’s first City of Film. Film increasingly is a strong contributor to our economic growth.
“It makes sense to collaborate through the Combined Authority with neighbouring local authorities. Without this collaboration we would never have been given this extra cash from government.”
Cllr Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council and Chair of the Business Rates Joint Committee, said: “By pooling their business rates authorities in the City Region are able to invest millions into projects which support culture and business as well as improving skills and creating job opportunities.
“These projects will help people access jobs and training opportunities, support the City Region’s vibrant cultural life and make it an even more attractive place to invest.”
David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, said: “We have seen a huge increase in film and TV production across our region in recent years and indeed across the UK. There has also been an increase in other areas of the creative economy such as festivals and large-scale events. In many cases the workforce for these has been brought in from other areas of the UK.
“We now have an opportunity to address the shortfall and create a more diverse and dynamic sector for the future. There are some practical solutions which we will develop such as industry mentors who can work with people one-to-one and build more awareness of the opportunities that exist within the creative sector. We will also develop a bursary scheme to ensure people can attend training events relevant to the sector.
“This investment in skills development will complement some of the excellent training already available across the Leeds City Region at colleges and universities, and through apprenticeships. We hope the programme also inspires young people in schools across the region.”