Bank partners with Bradford Council on rail station and regeneration project

Bank partners with Bradford Council on rail station and regeneration project

17 May 2023

UK Infrastructure Bank is working with Bradford Council on its proposed Southern Gateway train station - a sustainable development focused regeneration project.

UKIB’s Local Authority advisory service will provide strategic advice to Bradford Council on the delivery, finance and options for a proposed scheme which, alongside a new through station improving journey times to Manchester and Leeds, incorporates a 120-hectare site earmarked for sustainable development. The project is central to Bradford Council’s plans to generate economic prosperity for Bradford and fully aligns with UKIB’s key investment principles of driving regional and local economic growth and tackling climate change.  

It follows two initial pilot projects in transport undertaken by the Bank’s advisory service in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire, alongside more recent engagements with Glasgow City Council and the Welsh Government / Transport for Wales on Mass Transit and Zero Emission Buses. The Bank is developing its expert advisory service to help local authorities and devolved administrations develop and finance infrastructure projects, building on the pilots already undertaken and experience from the Glasgow and Wales projects. 

As well as improved access to the national rail network, the new station would improve east-west connectivity and shorten journey times and the advisory work will support Bradford Council to assess the commercial and financial challenges relating to the development of stations, the funding models and sources for the station (or the public realm around the station), and the potential delivery structures.

John Flint, CEO of UK Infrastructure Bank, said:

"As a Bank based in the region, this partnership with Bradford Council is a great opportunity for our team to advise and support a local authority on our own doorstep. The successful delivery of projects which link improved public transport with wider regeneration are critical to the Bank’s mission to boost regional and local economic growth and help the UK make the transition to Net Zero."

Kersten England, Chief Executive Officer, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council said:

"Our collaboration with UKIB will help us unlock investment options, identify further funding models and work through the practicalities of market and state finance to realise our ambitions. Bradford has a pivotal role to play across the whole of the North of England. Rail investment to enhance connections east and west through Bradford will enable our district to be at the forefront of progressive place-making and sustainability over the decades to come."

The local authority function is a core part of the Bank’s mandate, set by the UK Government. The advisory service will complement other sources of advice available by helping local authorities across the devolved nations to get the best value from working with the private sector. 

In March 2023, legislation that puts the Bank on a statutory footing received Royal Assent, giving the Bank the power to lend directly to local authorities across the UK. With £4bn to deploy, the Bank can provide flexible loans to support regional infrastructure at a preferential rate. 

The Bank’s lending team welcomes enquiries from local authorities seeking flexible finance for qualifying projects.