BRADFORD city centre will become a very different place over the next three or four years, says the district’s regeneration chief.

Alex Ross-Shaw spoke to fellow councillors after defending a planned £75 million-plus spend in central Bradford against criticism from Keighley councillors.

The local politicians last week reacted with anger to proposals to invest around £60 million of council cash in the major projects to boost jobs and the economy.?

Councillors for Craven and Worth Valley ward said some of millions should instead be spent on similar economy-boosting improvements in outlying areas, including Keighley and Silsden.

The council’s ruling Executive last week discussed six projects, including developing One City Park into offices, and improving Bradford Forster Square and Bradford Interchange stations.

Other schemes will relocate Oastler Market to the former Marks and Spencer building on Darley Street to create "new food focused" market, and improve the ‘Top of the Town’ shopping area near the existing markets.

Cllr Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, told the meeting: "We have been getting good feedback from the market traders so far.

"Over the next three or four years the city centre will become a very different place. There are a lot of good things happening in Bradford."

Councillors heard that work was progressing on refurbishing St. George’s Concert Hall, including replacing the roof and windows, new lighting, refurbished seats and a new stage.

An update on plans for the restoration of the former Odeon Cinema was held in private, with members receiving an updated confidential report into the details of a proposed £12m Council loan to allow work on the building to proceed.