Bradford VR town sees ‘incredible’ support as independent businesses thrive

A virtual reality center in Bradford city center has seen “incredible” support and growth despite being open during the pandemic.

VR City, based in the former Boyes building on North Parade, now plans to expand its offering with new technology as attendance increases.

It comes as Bradford has been revealed as one of the top 20 cities for budding business owners in an index to help entrepreneurs figure out where to set up shop.

Hasan Khan, owner of VR City, said: “We had planned to open in March 2020 when lockdown first hit and unfortunately we had to delay almost two years.

“When we were finally able to open, the level of support from local people was incredible and it was so rewarding to see people of all ages, backgrounds and personalities enjoying and immersing themselves in our gaming experiences.

“We were inspired to open VR City after visiting Japan a few years ago when we realized the popularity of high tech arcades was growing – we thought Bradford was the perfect place for us to thrive in as a virtual reality company.”

Leanne Holmes, Project Manager for the Bradford Business Improvement District, said: “It’s great to see local tourism thriving in Bradford and supporting the growth of small businesses.

“Clearly, residents are looking to their doorstep for entertainment and attractions this year, which is no surprise as the city is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.”

She added, “It’s amazing to see our district continue to shine despite the challenges we’ve faced over the past two years.

“Sparkling Bradford partners want to support self-employed businesses during these difficult times and we urge businesses in the district to sign up for the Sparkling Bradford initiative, where they will receive support as well as a business toolkit to facilitate the marketing activity.

The Sparkling Bradford campaign has also spotlighted other independent businesses in the district.

These include the Time Trapped escape room on Hustlergate; the People Powered Press in Saltaire, which is the largest letterpress in the world; Hartleys Auctioneers and Clip ‘n Climb in Ilkley, and Cobbles and Clay at the top of Main Street in Haworth.

Sparkling Bradford aims to stimulate the visitor economy by showcasing the visitor experience offered across Bradford.

For details of what’s on offer in every corner of the district, visit

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