Decision not to open City Hall during national heritage open day event described as 'false economy'

Actor Harry Atkins plays a solicitor as he recreates a 1950s court case in City Hall's old law courts during he heritage open day two years ago

Actor Harry Atkins plays a solicitor as he recreates a 1950s court case in City Hall's old law courts during he heritage open day two years ago

First published in News
Last updated

CITY Hall's doors will stay shut during this year's National Heritage Open Day because it is too expensive to open on a Saturday.

A Bradford Council spokesman confirmed spending cuts meant the local authority could not justify backing the event, which has traditionally brought in crowds of weekend visitors from near and far.

A spokesman said: "Unfortunately due to significant budget cuts the Council is not able to justify the cost of organising, promoting and hosting the Heritage Open Day in City Hall this year."

However, the Council will be running weekday 'Sneaky Peak Tours' offering a behind the scenes look on Wednesday afternoons from August 6 to September 10 and Thursday mornings from August 7 to September 11 this year.

The Council spokesman added: "The volunteers from the 'Sneaky Peak Tours' may consider supporting Heritage Open Days in City Hall in the future. However, at this moment in time, it is too early in the project to confirm this possibility."

Chairman of Bradford Civic Society Alan Hall said scrapping City Hall as an official Heritage Open Day venue was "false economy."

He added: "It's a missed opportunity to put Bradford on the map nationally. If people are denied that chance to come and see it on a Saturday when people can travel from outside the area and are not at work, is at best a great shame but at worse it's short-sightedness. It's false economy.

"Every time someone walks through those doors, it re-enforces their view of Bradford. It is an incredible building and to not open it as part of the Heritage Days national programme is to miss out on the chance to showcase it. Anything that raises the profile of our city should be embraced."

He said City Hall was built at a time when Bradford had a lot of self-confidence but added: "You get the feeling now from the Council that if they had to build a new city hall it would probably be a corrugated shed because they don't have the same self-confidence their forefathers had - it is a big injection of self confidence that this city needs."

However, Bradford Council's culture portfolio holder, Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, said there were still plans to open up City Hall on that day but in a different format.

She said: "Bradford's Museums, Libraries and Theatres across the Bradford District will be taking part in National Heritage Open Day on September 13. We are still planning the activities but will announce details nearer the time.

"As for City Hall we are now running Sneaky Peak tours round City Hall twice a week over the summer. We are also planning on running a Sneaky Peak tour on Heritage Open Day on Saturday, September 13."

The Telegraph & Argus understands the tours will not operate throughout the whole day from 10am to 5pm like former Heritage Open Days.

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:42am Fri 25 Jul 14

Joedavid says...

Words have failed me.
Words have failed me. Joedavid
  • Score: 7

9:04am Fri 25 Jul 14

collos25 says...

We do not want plebs and riff raff seeing what we pay for the corrupt council want to keep it a secret.If they have nothing to hide open the doors.
We do not want plebs and riff raff seeing what we pay for the corrupt council want to keep it a secret.If they have nothing to hide open the doors. collos25
  • Score: -3

9:52am Fri 25 Jul 14

FinlandStation says...

This is something else Cllr. Hinchcliffe and her useless Visit Bradford department have got wrong. Her failures with the Tour de France, the media museum, the film and Bradford festivals, our Curry Capital status, and above all Buck Lane mean that she is long overdue for replacement.

Tourism is an essential part of Bradford's regeneration. We need people's perceptions of this crap town to change radically. To do this we need somebody who knows what they are doing and is passionately committed to Bradford. Cllr. Hinchcliffe fails on both counts.
This is something else Cllr. Hinchcliffe and her useless Visit Bradford department have got wrong. Her failures with the Tour de France, the media museum, the film and Bradford festivals, our Curry Capital status, and above all Buck Lane mean that she is long overdue for replacement. Tourism is an essential part of Bradford's regeneration. We need people's perceptions of this crap town to change radically. To do this we need somebody who knows what they are doing and is passionately committed to Bradford. Cllr. Hinchcliffe fails on both counts. FinlandStation
  • Score: 23

10:04am Fri 25 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

FinlandStation wrote:
This is something else Cllr. Hinchcliffe and her useless Visit Bradford department have got wrong. Her failures with the Tour de France, the media museum, the film and Bradford festivals, our Curry Capital status, and above all Buck Lane mean that she is long overdue for replacement. Tourism is an essential part of Bradford's regeneration. We need people's perceptions of this crap town to change radically. To do this we need somebody who knows what they are doing and is passionately committed to Bradford. Cllr. Hinchcliffe fails on both counts.
She won't be replaced. Cllr Thornton is a disaster, as is Green & Slator but they will keep their positions because they are in nice safe seats which always vote Labour even though they list no where near where they represent.

Some areas will always be red and some always blue regardless of the efforts or disasters of the people in power.
[quote][p][bold]FinlandStation[/bold] wrote: This is something else Cllr. Hinchcliffe and her useless Visit Bradford department have got wrong. Her failures with the Tour de France, the media museum, the film and Bradford festivals, our Curry Capital status, and above all Buck Lane mean that she is long overdue for replacement. Tourism is an essential part of Bradford's regeneration. We need people's perceptions of this crap town to change radically. To do this we need somebody who knows what they are doing and is passionately committed to Bradford. Cllr. Hinchcliffe fails on both counts.[/p][/quote]She won't be replaced. Cllr Thornton is a disaster, as is Green & Slator but they will keep their positions because they are in nice safe seats which always vote Labour even though they list no where near where they represent. Some areas will always be red and some always blue regardless of the efforts or disasters of the people in power. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 12

12:07pm Fri 25 Jul 14

eickringill says...

It may just be for this year. They are going to have to open City Hall for weekends when the Register Office moves in there.
It may just be for this year. They are going to have to open City Hall for weekends when the Register Office moves in there. eickringill
  • Score: 4

7:09pm Fri 25 Jul 14

They only do damage! says...

The people of Bradford spend £400,000 on the roof?, yet we cant see whats under it!!. They really dont, understand the ratepayer.
The people of Bradford spend £400,000 on the roof?, yet we cant see whats under it!!. They really dont, understand the ratepayer. They only do damage!
  • Score: 13

8:38pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Alhaurinrhino says...

Can't open city hall to the public but they can afford to give thousands of pounds belonging to the public to full time union officials.

Very shabby
Can't open city hall to the public but they can afford to give thousands of pounds belonging to the public to full time union officials. Very shabby Alhaurinrhino
  • Score: 12

8:54pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Joedavid says...

Alhaurinrhino wrote:
Can't open city hall to the public but they can afford to give thousands of pounds belonging to the public to full time union officials.

Very shabby
That's an idea why not the Union people open it up that day for us fellow working class citizens of Bradford.
[quote][p][bold]Alhaurinrhino[/bold] wrote: Can't open city hall to the public but they can afford to give thousands of pounds belonging to the public to full time union officials. Very shabby[/p][/quote]That's an idea why not the Union people open it up that day for us fellow working class citizens of Bradford. Joedavid
  • Score: 10

10:17pm Fri 25 Jul 14

They only do damage! says...

Who was the spokesman? Has tranparency and truth deserted this once great city. How can our Labour run council, try to avoid the truth, when they are in control of critising there own deeds,. Labours warped democracy has failed us all!!!!.
Who was the spokesman? Has tranparency and truth deserted this once great city. How can our Labour run council, try to avoid the truth, when they are in control of critising there own deeds,. Labours warped democracy has failed us all!!!!. They only do damage!
  • Score: 3

10:23pm Fri 25 Jul 14

jimmy_spinner0 says...

"Pity poor Bradford" The seat of local government claims cost cutting, how are the citizens and many visitors ever to understand the heritage and beauty of this fine building if they cannot fund 1 day per year, perhaps elected members and senior mgmt could offer their services for the day free of charge, the building costs little to operate if there are no staff costs!
"Pity poor Bradford" The seat of local government claims cost cutting, how are the citizens and many visitors ever to understand the heritage and beauty of this fine building if they cannot fund 1 day per year, perhaps elected members and senior mgmt could offer their services for the day free of charge, the building costs little to operate if there are no staff costs! jimmy_spinner0
  • Score: 10

11:47pm Fri 25 Jul 14

photowala / Da'ud says...

My first 'Heritage' Open Day at City Hall was two years ago. I was looking forward to a repeat visit this year.

It seems that this will not now take place as our wonderful council say it is too expensive - if they ceased to waste funds on inferior workmanship and inferior materials, then, thi s national event would not be 'too expensive'!

Listen for the laughter from the rest of the country when this makes the national media. Bradford will become an even bigger laughing-stock than with the 'Bradford Hole' and the road improvements at Saltaire (changing most of the road layout to what it was over 50 years ago).
My first 'Heritage' Open Day at City Hall was two years ago. I was looking forward to a repeat visit this year. It seems that this will not now take place as our wonderful council say it is too expensive - if they ceased to waste funds on inferior workmanship and inferior materials, then, thi s national event would not be 'too expensive'! Listen for the laughter from the rest of the country when this makes the national media. Bradford will become an even bigger laughing-stock than with the 'Bradford Hole' and the road improvements at Saltaire (changing most of the road layout to what it was over 50 years ago). photowala / Da'ud
  • Score: -2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree