Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Why Bradford City Hall's beauty may be opened up to the public
A major project to open up City Hall as a visitor attraction has been unveiled.
Ideas include hosting weddings in the building, creating a modern art gallery there, or opening up parts of the Grade I listed building as a ‘historical experience’ complete with tours.
Council bosses hope it will become a major city centre attraction, adding to the success of City Park.
A new report going before the Council’s executive says the gothic Victorian building is of huge local importance and should be open to the public on a more regular basis.
The report, by strategic director of culture Barra Mac Ruairi, says: “City Hall is an imposing and beautiful Grade I-listed building situated at the heart of City Park and Centenary Square with its main gates closed to the public.
“Opening the lower floors will invite the community and visitors into the building to enjoy its historical features such as the grand staircase, the marble floors and stone architecture.”
The plan would see the building’s lower floors opened up to the public, with Council offices moved to the upper floors.
The Council is already looking into the feasibility of moving registrar services, like weddings, from Bradford Register Office in Manor Row to City Hall.
The report sets out other potential ideas for the building.
They include: l The introduction of a modern gallery space l A City Hall Museum that explores the history of Bradford with artefacts, photographs and projected films l And guided tours of City Hall, taking in the Council chamber, its silver collection and the Mayor’s Chambers which feature West Yorkshire’s first electric fire.
Councillor Andrew Thornton, executive member for environment, said: “Opening up City Hall will allow the community and visitors the opportunity to use and explore the building and its history.”
The report also asks the Executive members to consider the creation of a Friends of City Hall group. If approved it is hoped that the group would provide tours of the building and develop a volunteer training programme.
The idea of granting greater access to the building was welcomed by English Heritage.
Trevor Mitchell, Yorkshire planning and conservation director at English Heritage, said: “Not only is the City Hall a marvellous icon for the pride and history of Bradford, but it is also at the heart of the city centre, where new activities could boost business and tourism.
“We look forward to working with the Council to make the City Hall a truly public building.”
Comments are closed on this article.