4.4. Gaps in the data

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


An image illustration depicting what Bradford Producing Hub is about - people playing, moving, reaching and exploring

Uncaptured data

There is a significant portion of cultural and creative practitioners in the Bradford district who remain uncaptured by official statistics due to their absence from ONS data. These practitioners are estimated to number between 2,500 and 3,000 and operate as sole traders without registering for VAT or PAYE. It would be useful to know more about this group.

Limited knowledge of the creative industries workforce diversity

While there is growing knowledge of this issue at the national level, it would be very useful to have this at the Bradford District level, especially to benchmark and track the impact of Bradford 2025.

Limited sector growth

Employment in the Creative, Cultural, and Digital Industries (CCIs) in Bradford has decreased by 29% between 2015 and 2019, which suggests limited growth in this sector. Why is this the case?

Weak technology sector

Although IT, Software, and Computer Services make up 39% of the GVA of the creative industries in Bradford, the GVA for this sector remains lower than in comparable areas, partly due to a weaker technology sector. More knowledge of the reasons for this would be useful.

Business size

93% of businesses in the CCI sector in Bradford have 4 or fewer employees, which is higher than the national average of 90% for CCI businesses. The data does not provide information on the reasons for this higher percentage, or the implications for the sector in Bradford.

Comparative data

Although the data provides information on the GVA of the creative industries in Bradford compared to other areas, it does not provide a complete picture of the sector’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential for growth.

There is limited information on the effectiveness of the marketing and promotion of Bradford’s cultural assets and events.

Visitor satisfaction

While we know that Bradford has a range of cultural assets and events, we do not have information on visitor satisfaction, to understand how satisfied visitors are with their experiences, what they liked and disliked, and what could be improved.

The impact of specific events on the visitor economy

While we have information on the major events that take place in Bradford, we do not know how much these events contribute to the visitor economy and how much spending and job creation they generate.

The potential impact of new developments

There is no information on how new developments, such as the Bradford Live music venue, could impact the visitor economy. It would be useful to understand the potential economic impact of such developments and how they could help to drive growth in the sector.

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.

4.5. 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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