Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme

What is the Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme?

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The Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme is a four year, £2 million grant programme supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. It provides financial assistance to property owners and tenants, to restore their historic buildings, within the part of the Bradford city centre conservation area commonly known as the 'top of town'.

The scheme aims to improve historic buildings, contributing to the quality of the townscape, which should increase property values, and encourage further business investment in the area. This will help to make the historic core of 'top of town' even more vibrant, and create a high quality, attractive environment for people to live, work, and visit, which will benefit the city as a whole.

With 37 Historic England listings located in the scheme, the 'top of town' boasts some magnificent Victorian architecture, such as the old Yorkshire Penny Bank, Church House, the Institution for the Blind, Bradford Dispensary, and the Statue of Richard Oastler, "the Factory King", who was at the heart of the campaign to limit the long hours worked by young children in mills and factories that grew out of the industrial revolution.

The Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme is administered by City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council with the support of local community stakeholders.

The 'top of town' includes period properties in an area concentrated along North Parade, Rawson Place, Darley Street, Northgate, Piccadilly, Upper Piccadilly, Duke Street and James Street, bounded by Dale Street. Manor Row, Fountain Street, Rawson Road, John Street, Westgate, Godwin Street, Darley Street, and Kirkgate.

Top of Town map

What is eligible for funding?

  • Structural and external repair of buildings in use
  • Restoration and reinstatement of period architectural features
  • Bringing vacant floor space back into use

Traditional building techniques and construction 'best practice', suitable for a conservation area, must be used, and appropriate professional consultants, such as Chartered Architects or Surveyors, must be employed to deliver larger projects.

Wherever possible, we aim to support local services, labour and products throughout the delivery of the programme, further strengthening skills and employment in the area.

What level of grant is available?

Where a property is in use, the grant will cover up to 60% of the cost of eligible repair and structural works, and 60% for the restoration and reinstatement of architectural features.

Where a property is vacant, a separate grant rate will apply (a conservation deficit calculation). The level of grant will be based on the increase in property value following the works, and the complexity of work needed to bring a period property back into use.

What else will the Townscape Heritage Scheme achieve?

A number of complementary activities will run alongside the grant aided projects to help raise awareness of Bradford’s wonderful architecture, widen people's knowledge of the 'top of town' area, develop an understanding of historic buildings, and the skills needed to maintain and protect them.

Townscape Heritage will also deliver a scheme of public realm improvements centred around the Statue of Richard Oastler on Northgate.

You can view the design options produced to get community feedback on the public realm improvements (PDF, 2Mb).

In response to all the feedback we have received from the community at the Top of Town, we have made amendments to the final designs for the public realm improvements. You can view these in you said, we did (PDF, 909 Kb).

How can I get a grant?

If you are the owner or long term tenant of a historic building in the 'top of town', and you believe you have a project that might be suitable for a grant aid; then contact the Townscape Heritage Scheme Project Officer to make an expression of interest.

The Townscape Heritage Scheme Project Officer will help you to check that your property is in a location covered by the grant scheme, and explain exactly what type of work is eligible for grant aid, and how the grant approval process works.

You will be given advice and support on your grant application throughout the development of your project, from creating a brief and initial concept design, through to completing technical designs and planning for construction work on site.

The final grant application is submitted once you have tenders or quotes for the work, and if approved, a grant offer will be made.

Funding raised by The National Lottery and awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Heritage fund logo

Latest designs

Contact details

Richard Middleton, Project Officer (Townscape Heritage Scheme)
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Department of Place
Planning, Transportation and Highways
4th Floor
Britannia House
Hall Ings

Phone : 01274 434844
Email :