Proposals for Heritage Action Zone Status for Bradford City Centre

Article dated Friday Jul 21, 2023 at 05:20 PM

The future of heritage buildings in the heart of Bradford are being explored in plans for Heritage Action Zone status.

Bradford Council has been awarded £50,000 by Historic England to develop detailed proposals for a Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) in the city centre.

The area surrounding City Hall, as well as Kirkgate, Hustlergate and Market Street are under consideration, which, if adopted, will provide grants to property owners to bring back into use empty and underused floorspace in some of the city’s ‘at risk’ heritage buildings.

This will be complemented by proposals to increase public access to City Hall, so more people can see this landmark building for themselves, along with the historic artefacts and photography on display.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said: “We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with Historic England to develop detailed proposals for Heritage Action Zone Status in this historic part of the city centre.

“This is an exciting opportunity to find new and sustainable uses for our historic buildings, as well as potentially enabling improved access to City Hall, our core civic building, celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.”

“The amount of quality heritage buildings here in Bradford is breath-taking. We are looking to the future, with City of Culture 2025 approaching, plus the massive programme of regeneration that will take place in the city, but this is always in harmony with our history”.

Richard Butterfield, Historic England’s Partnerships Team Leader, said, "Bradford City Centre Conservation Area has an impressive array of grand Victorian buildings and a historic street pattern which goes back to the middle ages. This project development funding will enable the heritage to be better understood and inform plans to unlock its potential. We are delighted to be taking this initiative forward with Bradford Council and the City of Culture team."

Work on the proposal will involve data collection, analysis and consultation with owners and key stakeholders how best to financially support property owners, developers and investors to make use of vacant or underused floorspace in the city’s heritage buildings.

Proposals for a HAZ in Bradford city centre will also explore how cultural events can be used to increase understanding of local heritage, raise awareness of buildings potentially at risk and to look at possible uses for buildings driven by the current market.

The Council will complete the work to develop a detailed proposal for the HAZ by February 2024.

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