Plans for landmark Idle site to go on display

Idle Chapel site

Idle Chapel site

First published in News by

Plans for the transformation of a landmark Bradford building are about to go on show.

And people are being urged to make the most of a one-off chance to see progress on the creation of a £1.4 million enterprise centre in the heart of Idle.

Nasim Qureshi, head of the community group behind the scheme, said: “This is a chance for people to have an input and we want as many as possible to turn up.”

Of special interest are people with relatives buried in a disused graveyard around the former Thorp Methodist Church.

The display will only be in situ for one evening on ThursdayFEB 20. After that, the contract to turn the church into the Wright Watson Enterprise Centre will go out to tender.

“So this is a great chance to make a contribution,” said Mr Qureshi, chief executive officer of Inspired Neighbourhoods, which is developing the scheme.

Mr Qureshi said securing European funding for the project had slightly put back the centre's opening date – from summer to October. Building work should start at the end of May.

“We are keen to hear from people with relatives buried in the old graveyard with respect to our plans for community and commemorative gardens,” said Mr Qureshi.

The new centre will provide a new home for the village library and archive and offer business support, workspace and resources for fledgling firms. It will also have free Wi-fi and a cafe.

Most of the funding will be spent on replacing the roof and expanding the church, which was built in 1982.

The site was home to Idle Wesleyan Chapel from 1810 and it is also the burial place of Wright Watson, the author and historian after whom the development is named.

Mr Qureshi said plans are to restructure the building and clean up the graveyard, turning it into a community garden with gravestones set around the walls.

The plans are on display at Thorpe Primary School in Idle from 5.30pm to 7pm.

Details of the gardens will also be on show; along with updates on construction and generally what has been happening with the project.

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