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Group meets to debate future of Saltaire
A consultation process to fire-up enthusiasm in Saltaire’s World Heritage status took place in the famous village tonight.
And concerned residents produced a raft of ideas to promote and improve the treasured area.
Eleven years after gaining the coveted title, Titus Salt’s workers’ utopia has yet to fully capitalise on its status, according to tourism figures released last year.
And in a bid to boost interest among residents, Bradford Council’s World Heritage Site officer Craig McHugh said there would now be lots of direct discussion and debate.
He has been tasked to prepare a new management plan with significant strides to be made by this summer.
“It’s easy to be sceptical about plans and strategies, but this is about bringing people together and generating new ideas about Saltaire’s future,” Mr McHugh told the well-attended meeting of the Saltaire Village Society.
“We must have a healthy degree of realism and we need to relate ideas to practical issues.
“The new management plan will not just be about putting a red line around Saltaire to try and protect it against the future. This is about a partnership between the Council, some 80 organisations with interests in Saltaire and of course the people who live here.”
Mr McHugh said there would be a series of themed workshops with groups to gather ideas, plus a conference for all concerned parties.
Saltaire resident for 15 years, Maggie Smith, said there should be more care for small open spaces and better maintenance of peripheral roads which spoilt peoples’ arrival in the village.
And she called for a tough line on visitor parking, saying: “We are now a car park for commuters during the day.”
Other views were that while not becoming a “Victorian theme park”, new street lights should be in keeping with the architecture. It was also suggested new residents should all get informative greeting packs and that volunteer Saltaire “gamesmakers” should guide visitors during events such as the festival. Greater links with international schools and colleges and creating a unifying sports event were among other suggestions.
Saltaire Village Society chairman Rob Martin said: “This is all about getting people thinking and talking about Saltaire and what we can all do for its future.”