Plans to create a new chapter in the history of an iconic building in the centre of Bradford have been revealed with proposals to develop residential accommodation.
A scheme led by consortium Citywide Investors for Bradford College’s Old Building in Great Horton Road includes more than 200 apartments along with a gym, café, media centre, games room and a rooftop garden.
Citywide Investors, which is behind the planned building purchase and the redevelopment plans, showcased its plans at a consultation event on Thursday 23 January, where representatives spoke to local residents, business people and staff and students from the college and the University of Bradford about the plans.
Zeb Iqbal of Citywide Investors described how the consortium was keen to retain the Grade II-listed building’s heritage and historic features while creating a residential complex which would attract people into the city. In particular, the scheme aims to attract students to the college and universities in the area, encouraging them to remain in the city after graduation.
He said: “Bradford has more listed buildings outside London than any other town or city in the country. It has a wonderful heritage. We feel it only right that we do our best to preserve those buildings and pass the baton on to future generations.”
He added that the apartments would be available for rental purposes, which would enable Citywide Investors to manage the building and support the preservation of its character.
Sue Gott, Head of Facilities Management at Bradford College, said: “We believe this is an excellent development for the community and the fact that the building is to be leased ensures its history will be honoured. It’s great to see that Citywide is actively protecting Bradford’s heritage.”
People at the consultation were encouraged to play a role in the building’s future when they were invited to suggest names for the new complex. For inspiration, they were given names of key figures connected to the college and university, including Nobel Prize winner Sir Edward Appleton, trade unionist Alice Mahon, British Army officer and Victoria Cross recipient Major General Dudley Graham.
Working with the buyers, the college will be able to generate work experience for some of its students and apprentices. Citywide is keen for student involvement and engagement and to work with the college to provide work experience and placement opportunities throughout the redevelopment project.
The Old Building re-development into residential accommodation has already received positive feedback from the partial application submitted to Bradford Council and a full planning application is due to be submitted later this year.