01895 639912 SERVING THE NATION’S TRADERS SINCE 1922 JUNE 7 - 20, 2019 No. 4954 70p

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Bold vision for Bradford Photo: City of Bradford Council

Ambitious plans to change the face of a West Yorkshire city’s high street would set a “national benchmark”, according to a report to the council there. The major regeneration

project involves demolishing a number of buildings on Bradford’s once-thriving Darley Street, including the former Marks & Spencer premises, and building a new three-storey food market and a public square in their place. The development, which

is expected to cost at least £21m, has been discussed recently by City of Bradford councillors, who are being asked to approve the plans. The changes will form part

of a major shake up of the city’s markets which will see the Oastler Centre close, with food stalls relocating to the new market while non-food stalls move to a refurbished Kirkgate Market. A report to councillors

quoted by local media says: “The new food market would act as a new city centre anchor and provide an attractive and vibrant market building that should add value to the economic, social, environmental and cultural fabric of the city. “It would aim to provide a

shopping destination, offering local and regional fresh food and be a key destination for shoppers in the city centre.

ISSN 2057–6781 “The proposal would set

the national benchmark for a contemporary market and provide the opportunity for new entrepreneurs to operate in a flexible trading environment.” The report added: “In order

to remain relevant to the local population and traditional shoppers but also attract new customers, it is intended to create a new destination in this area of the city centre to offer alternatives to what has previously been available from the market and what is currently offered from the shopping centre within the city centre.” It is anticipated by planners

that other markets, events and community activities would also take place within the new public space. Darley Street’s demise in

recent years has been set against the backdrop of a national decline in high street prosperity, while Bradford’s retail ‘focus’ has shifted more to The Broadway shopping centre. “With the closure of several

retail units along Darley Street, the footfall and retail presence in this part of the city centre has been much reduced,” the report states. “This results in a negative

perception of the city centre. The introduction of a consolidated market would improve the retail offer and help increase the footfall in the city centre. “It is considered that

a successful market operation here, with food sales and prepared food for

consumption on the premises could act as an additional city centre attraction, which in this key location, would help regenerate this part of the city centre, increasing viability and bringing vitality to the principal shopping area.” Some of the buildings earmarked for demolition are not currently owned by the city authority, and should the scheme go ahead it is likely they will become subject to compulsory purchase orders. According to the report the

intention is to commence with this process, but to continue dialogue with the buildings’ owners. London-based Andres Elizondo is the landlord of 8 Darley Street, one of the buildings scheduled for demolition, and earlier this year he wrote to the council saying: “I don’t see how the council can justify demolishing a currently occupied site to improve the trading conditions for neighbouring unoccupied sites.

“Given the small size of the property, I believe the overall project of building a public square could be achieved without the need of flattening out this site.” However, the planners

don’t agree, maintaining that the benefits of the new market building will outweigh the loss of the older premises. The report says: “In terms

of the planning consideration of the loss of this unit, the new market building would significantly contribute to the regeneration of the city centre,

potentially leading to greater opportunity for occupancy of other adjacent vacant units. “This is considered to outweigh the loss of the current occupied unit within the application site. The occupiers of the current unit on the site would have the opportunity of assessing the availability of other nearby vacant units.” It says the issues raised

have been noted, but are not considered significant enough to jeopardise the future of the development. From a design and heritage perspective, the project is said to “preserve and enhance” the setting of the surrounding City Centre Conservation Area, by creating an “active and vibrant use in the heart of the city, giving appreciation of the surrounding heritage assets, enhancing their presence and better revealing the heritage assets”. In outlining the reasons why approval should be granted, the report states: “The proposals are considered to create a vibrant and attractive retail offer that would improve viability and add vibrancy to this city centre location.” Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said in a statement: “We want to create a vibrant and attractive transformational public space on Darley Street, which will support the new food market but also transform Darley Street and showcase the fantastic Victorian buildings on Piccadilly by making

them a lot more visible. “This project will help redefine the city centre and make the top of town a lot more attractive and easier to get to. “To be able to create a new

public space in the heart of the city centre is a fantastic opportunity and we’re really excited to consult with people on how it will look and what sorts of activities they’d like to see there.”

Page 20

Norwich traders fight for hungry shoppers

Page 10

Celebrity line up for Bolton food fest

Clean up at Barnsley’s new Glassworks



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