BRADFORD Council should play a more active role in getting the Aire Valley Retail Park built, demands a leading councillor.

Andrew Mallinson, who sits on the council’s regeneration committee, suggests the council should take the lead on the project rather than the site owners themselves.

He spoke out after it was revealed that no retailers had yet signed up for any of the seven shop units proposed for the derelict East Parade site.

Local politicians last week expressed hope the Aire Valley Retail Park would eventually be built, rather than being scrapped like its predecessor on the site, the Worth Valley Shopping Centre.

Cllr Mallinson this week said the public needed to see the council actively involved in promoting both the East Parade site and Keighley as a whole.

He said: “I know the council will say that they are just partners, that they’re not the drivers on this, but maybe they ought to be. They could more aggressively promote the project.

“The council’s regeneration department will be talking to investors who want to come into the district.

“What I want to see demonstrated is that they’re not prioritising only the centre of Bradford, but that Keighley is up there on the radar and as much effort is being put into promoting Keighley.”

Cllr Mallinson claimed the council had previously spearheaded similar projects in Bradford involving land with private ownership, such as the long-delayed Broadway shopping centre and the current regeneration of Ivegate.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said the owners of Aire Valley Retail Park had well-developed contacts throughout the retail world, adding: “As a developer it is their responsibility to market their proposal.

“Of course the council has discussions with the company and we offer our help and advice where appropriate as we do any development, but Cllr Mallinson knows as well as anyone that it’s not the council’s responsibility to sign up retailers to private developments.”