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'Mothballed' £45m Citygate scheme to start in New Year
Bradford’s fortunes are “on the cusp of a real renaissance” according to a major developer getting another long-awaited city-centre development off the ground.
York-based Skelwith Group has said it will start work on part of the £45 million Citygate scheme, for 75 new apartments, as soon as possible in the New Year.
The apartment scheme at Citygate, at the bottom of Manchester Road, was given full planning consent in April 2012.
Bradford Council believes the revival of the scheme is a sign of “growing confidence” in Bradford’s future.
And a spokesman for the Skelwith Group said: “We see a lot of potential in Bradford and are keen to get on site as soon as possible.
“We are just waiting for the final legal agreement with Bradford Council and a few pieces of red tape to be agreed, which we expect to happen imminently. Following this we want to be on site as early as possible in the New Year.”
The spokesman said there was already a lot of interest in the apartments, and that the city seemed to be turning a corner. He said: “We feel that Bradford is on the cusp of a real renaissance in its fortunes.”
The 75-apartment building known as Block A would eventually form part of a wider development of more than 500 one and two-bedroom flats, which together make up phase one of the development.
The scheme, on the former site of the Reyner House parade, has been beset with delays.
The development site is made up of four separate patches of land. Two of them are owned by the Skelwith Group, which resurrected the Citygate plans in 2010 after a previous developer, Asquith Properties, hit financial difficulties.
Another plot, where an apart-hotel is planned, is owned by Key Homes Brad-ford Ltd, while a fourth is owned by the Council and Bradford Trident.
A distinctive 38-storey high-rise tower had originally been planned for the Council and Trident-owned land, which would have been the city's tallest building – but this plan was shelved in 2011.
The Skelwith Group hopes to buy the other two parcels of land to develop them as well. The spokesman confirmed they had started a dialogue with the owners about acquiring them.
The news that work on Citygate was imminent was welcomed by the leader of Bradford Council, Councillor David Green. He said: “What we have got to do is to make sure we don’t lose momentum and continue to take the city’s economy forward.”
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