Bradford is a city in the county of West Yorkshire, England. It lies in the Pennines eastern foothills. A Historic part of Yorkshire, West Riding, Bradford rose to prominence in the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture, particularly wool. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the earliest industrialised settlements, rapidly becoming the "wool capital of the world"; this in turn gave rise to the nicknames "Woolopolis" and "Wool City". The area's access to a supply of coal, iron ore and soft water facilitated the growth of Bradford's manufacturing base, which, as textile manufacture grew, led to an explosion in population and was a stimulus to civic investment; Bradford has a large amount of listed Victorian architecture including the grand Italianate City Hall.
Bradford has a significant economy within the Yorkshire and the Humber region; it is the third-largest at around £10 billion, which is mostly provided by financial and manufacturing industries. Bradford has also emerged as a tourist destination, becoming the first UNESCO City of Film with attractions such as the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford City Park, the Alhambra theatre and Cartwright Hall.
The city is home to several major companies, notably in finance (Yorkshire Building Society, Provident Financial, Santander UK), textiles (British Wool Marketing Board, Bulmer and Lumb Group), chemicals (BASF, Nufarm UK), electronics (Arris International, Filtronic), engineering (NG Bailey, Powell Switchgear), and manufacturing, (Denso Marston, Bailey Offsite, Hallmark Cards UK and Seabrook Potato Crisps). Supermarket chain Morrisons has its head office in Bradford as does water utility company Yorkshire Water. One of the city's biggest employers is Provident Financial plc, a financial services group that specialises in Home Collected Credit (HCC) and owns Vanquis Bank which offers credit cards. Retail giant Freeman Grattan Holdings has its head office in the centre of Bradford in a Grade II-listed former wool warehouse on the edge of Little Germany.
The Broadway is the main retail shopping facility in Bradford. It includes Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Next, Superdry, Schuh, H&M, Khaadi, Kiko, Menkind among its over 70 units. It has car parking for 1,300 vehicles.
Kirkgate Shopping Centre is located in Bradford city centre. It includes Primark, New Look, Bank, W H Smith, Boots, Boyes, SportsDirect.com, Deichmann and F. Hinds in its 65 shops, as well as an indoor market and 550 car parking spaces.
Forster Square Shopping Park is adjacent to the Forster Square Railway Station. It includes over 20 large retail and food units including Next, TK Maxx, Harveys, Asda Living, Outfit, Peacocks, Clarks, JD Sports, Currys, DFS, Subway, McDonald's and Costa Coffee.
Sunbridge Wells is an underground retail complex, it incorporates restaurants, bars and retail units. The complex is built in a series of Victorian tunnels situated in the centre of Bradford.
Bradford has a population of over 341,000 people. Bradford also forms part of the wider Leeds-Bradford metropolitan area which has a population of over 2,302,000 people. Bradford is the #312 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 2.5437 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.