4. Bradford Data Review: The Creative and Visitor Economy

This section reviews existing data on Bradford’s creative economy, visitor economy and how they both impact on the District.


Bradford Data Review: The Creative and Visitor Economy


This section reviews existing data on Bradford’s creative economy, visitor economy and how they both impact the District.

It includes key data on employment, size and economic impact for both sectors. It draws on data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) as well as recent research by BOP Consulting (2021), NGI Solutions (2021) and Bradford Producing Hub (2020).


Bradford’s creative economy has particular strengths and weaknesses. Research shows it has a similar profile to the rest of the UK, with a dominant IT, software and computer services subsector, and with a high number of micro-businesses operating in the Creative, Cultural, and Digital Industries (CCIs) of Bradford. However, employment is comparatively low in relation to similar UK cities (4,335 working in the CCIs) and there is a lack of dense CCI clusters in the local authority.

Bradford district is rich in cultural assets, both buildings and events, that attract a diverse range of visitors. The district attracts 12 million visitors annually, which generates 14,000 jobs and brings an estimated £696m to the local economy. Currently, 54% of visitors come for cultural purposes. However, while employment in the cultural and creative industries has been growing at approximately 4% annually in the rest of the Yorkshire and Humber region, it has remained stagnant in Bradford. Matching or exceeding the local growth rate is a key aim for Bradford 2025 which aims to attract over 16 million visitors and bring a total value of £2.4bn to the local economy.

There are two key topics covered in this section:

  • Creative employment, creative clustering and the economic contribution of the creative and cultural industries
  • The shape and value of tourism and the visitor economy

Bradford Data Review » The Creative and Visitor Economy

4.1. Creative and cultural industries

This topic covers the creative economy in Bradford and draws on a range of sources which can be found in Appendix 1 in the full report.

4.2. Bradford’s artists and producers

Bradford harbors abundant creative talent. The Bradford Producing Hub annually surveys local artists and producers, unveiling their endeavors and challenges.

4.3. Visitor economy

Bradford’s cultural diversity fuels tourism, contributing £696m annually; poised for resilience post-pandemic, with City of Culture anticipation.

4.4. Gaps in the data

Current gaps in our knowledge about Bradford’s visitor and creative economy

4.5. Opportunities

In Bradford’s evolving creative landscape, arts organisations and artists wield significant potential to bridge existing gaps and fortify the city’s cultural economy.

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