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Creative plans to transform Dalton Mills in Keighley
A wildlife centre, an agricultural project, or an Asian wedding venue are some of the ideas suggested by the public to bring one of Keighley’s biggest buildings back into full use.
The new owner of Dalton Mills, Paul Harris, had announced how he wanted to turn the building into a “cornerstone of the community”.
He asked people what they would like to see occupying the site. Three quarters of the Grade II-listed building is currently empty.
Ideas so far recommended by the public include using the building as a venue for indoor laser game activities, or turning it into a Salts Mill-style arts and heritage centre.
Other people have said the property could function as an observatory, or be turned into shops and a hotel.
Commenting on the public reaction Mr Harris, of Northampton-based Bellissimo Workspace, said: “I think it’s all positive – though I’d liked to have heard from even more people.
“These are definitely ideas which could be implemented, so long as I can make them feasible from a financial perspective.
“I’m not sure this is something that could be as grand as Salts Mill – it’s not in that kind of location – but I know that I want an arty, creative side to it. I’m also interested in a facility that would help people set up new businesses or somewhere that could be a meeting place for families.
“This is a monumental building which is important to the people of Keighley, and I want to do the best I can with what is available.”
Councillor Khadim Hussain, who is Bradford Lord Mayor and a Keighley district councillor, said he was heartened to hear about the prospect of something constructive being done with the property.
“Anything that will create jobs and regeneration in the area is music to my ears,” he said. “If something could be done to bring Dalton Mills back into use, that would be excellent news.
“It is looking a bit of a mess at the moment, so this comes at the right time.”
Mr Harris said he is now working on restoring and repairing Dalton Mill’s roof, adding that the project is already well ahead of schedule.