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Monday, 19 September 2016

Bradford Council launches action plan for struggling part of city centre

Bradford Council launches action plan for struggling part of city centre
Bradford Council launches action plan for struggling part of city centre

Bradford Council launches action plan for struggling part of city centre

REGENERATION chiefs have unveiled a host of plans to try to revitalise struggling areas of Bradford city centre.
Footfall in Darley Street - for decades regarded as the city’s main shopping drag - has fallen by a quarter in the past year, new figures show.
And the number of people visiting the nearby street of Kirkgate is down by a fifth.
There was more bad news for Darley Street over the weekend as a section of roof crashed to the floor, seemingly from a three-storey building formerly occupied by the Discount Appliance Store and Textiles Direct. No one was injured but the street was still strewn with rubble and wood yesterday evening following the incident just after 6pm on Saturday. 
Meanwhile, footfall in the lower end of town is on the up, boosted by the opening of The Broadway.


There were more than 2m visitors counted by footfall cameras in the street of Broadway from April to June, compared to less than 1m in Darley Street.
Now Bradford Council has set out the ways it hopes to help the ailing middle and top of town.
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, whose portfolio includes regeneration, said the top of town was one of the council’s biggest priorities.
He said: “There’s a number of ways we can help businesses in the top of town. We want to support our existing businesses and we want to attract new businesses.”
Regeneration bosses hope to replicate a £2.7m scheme which restored shops to their Victorian glory in Keighley.
The Keighley Townscape Heritage Initiative has seen the transformation of several high-profile town centre buildings, including Jean Junction and North Street Arcade.
Cllr Ross-Shaw said: “That fund has helped us work wonders in Keighley and now we want to replicate that.”


Within the past few weeks, the council has put in a bid for Heritage Lottery money, which would be used to start a similar scheme breathing new life into empty historic buildings in the top of town.
Work would focus on the restoration and improvement of building frontages, including shop fronts and architectural detailing.
There would also be improvements to pedestrian areas.
The council is running a grant scheme to try to encourage new tenants into its ‘priority streets’ of Darley Street, Ivegate, Kirkgate, Rawson Square and Rawson Place, but it was revealed last month that take-up hasn’t been as high as expected.
The authority, which doesn’t own buildings in any of these streets, now wants to work more closely with landlords to get vacant shops filled.


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