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Public to have say on future of Keighley's Dalton Mills
One of Keighley’s grandest buildings could soon be brought back into use, and its owner wants to give the public a say in its future.
Grade II listed Dalton Mills was once one of the district’s biggest employers, with more than 2,000 textile workers.
Although the 200,000 square foot building is occupied by several businesses, three quarters of it remains empty, and much of the site is derelict.
Paul Harris, of Northampton-based Bellissimo Workspace, bought the mill earlier this year after previous owners Magna Holdings went into administration. He now wants to transform it into a “cornerstone of the community”.
To achieve this, he has asked people what they would like to see at the site and what is lacking elsewhere in the town. He already plans to build more office space in the mill, but hopes to be inspired by any “innovative suggestions” from the public to decide what to do with the rest of the site.
Before any redevelopment can start, structural work to repair the building over the next several weeks will ensure its survival. As well as being left derelict for many years, the mill, which dates back to the 1860s, was badly damaged by fire in 2010. Mr Harris has employed four local companies for the first part of the restoration – repairs to the building’s roof.
Businesses based at the mill include the Airedale Fab Lab, a motorcycle repair shop and a printers but there is still 150,000 square feet left to be occupied once restoration work is complete.
Mr Harris said: “Dalton Mills was a building which immediately caught my eye as I personally think it is beautiful and offers so much scope and potential for the community.
“That’s why I would like to hear from people in the region to find out what they think should be at this historic site in the long-term, and what is missing from their area at the moment.
“After having numerous meetings with the local council, planners and English Heritage, whom have been extremely supportive of me, I am confident that we can work together to create a sustainable future for Dalton Mills which benefits the wider community.”
In recent years the mill’s impressive presence has led to it being used as a location for several film and TV crews, the latest being Peaky Blinders.
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