World Heritage Site Looks to the Future

An architect’s impression shows the unobtrusive new building in situ in Saltaire, a low, sleek contemporary building, with wooden detail and large glass windows.

Plans have been submitted to deliver a circa £6M new Community, Arts, Heritage and Future Technology Centre in the heart of Saltaire.

The new centre, which is being funded by the Shipley Towns Fund, will benefit both local people and visitors, and is being delivered by Shipley College and the Saltaire Collection.

The building, which will be located at the corner of Victoria Road and Caroline Street on land provided for the scheme by Bradford Council, will provide additional classroom and administration space to support the curriculum of Shipley College, for technology-based teaching and learning.

It will also become the new home for the Saltaire Collection – a large collection of historic artefacts and documents. There will be a public exhibition space, and community classroom to enable people to learn more about the history of Saltaire.

Alongside five modern new classrooms, the current proposals include a civic garden to the front of the building and a publicly-accessible rooftop exhibition garden - intended to be open during the daytime. 

Jo Lintonbon, architect at 3xa Design, based in Saltaire, said: “The new building reinstates a civic function where Saltaire’s now demolished Sunday School’s building once stood. It has been designed to complement the sensitive historic context of Saltaire without harming the heritage attributes that make up the World Heritage Site’s outstanding universal value.

“It will add to the ensemble of civic buildings and spaces on Victoria Road and create a welcoming and accessible exhibition pavilion and gardens. The design has been developed to retain key views to Salts Mill and most of the new accommodation is set below street level around a sunken courtyard.”

Adam Clerkin, Chairman of the Shipley Towns Fund said: “This new building has been carefully designed to sit contextually within the World Heritage Site, enhancing the public’s enjoyment and appreciation of it.”

The design and development ran alongside public engagement and consultation, as well as guidance from the Council’s planning authority and Historic England, to ensure the plans protect the Outstanding Universal Value of Saltaire.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s said: “The Council has supported the project in terms of planning and transferring the land. This is a once in a generation opportunity to enhance Saltaire for the future. It is important it is done to an extremely high standard and in a sensitive way which respects the history of this very special place, and I believe the plans show that.”

Diana Bird, Principal at Shipley College explained: “The new building will provide modern teaching facilities to teach local people in-demand technological skills. It will create new public green spaces, and a permanent storage and exhibition space to tell the story of Saltaire to visitors - something that our village does not currently have.”

Maggie Smith, Trustee of the Saltaire Collection said: “Our collection provides a unique insight into the lives of Saltaire residents and workers since its foundation in 1853, covering the many dramas and changes from the village’s early days until today. We are so excited that, after many years of commitment from our marvellous volunteers and researchers, we will soon be able to share these stories with everyone.”

The current proposals also include new modern public toilets and changing facilities, which were a core requirement of Shipley Town Council, one of the project stakeholders. 

About the Towns Fund

The funding is part of the Towns Fund which is a Government-funded support programme to boost the economies of towns across the UK, as part of its Levelling Up plan. The scheme has secured £25m for projects in Shipley.

Historic England is the public body that advises government on caring for and celebrating England’s historic environment, ‘to inspire interest, care and conservation’