Building planned new cells for a court to free up a key city-centre site for redevelopment will cost £4.5m, it has been revealed.
The Bradford Council scheme would mean a new modern-looking custody suite would be built at the back of Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court, in City Park.
This would allow the remainder of the former Tyrls police station, next door, to be demolished and open up the site for a new office block in one of the city’s most sought-after locations.
The Tyrls building has been empty since the police left it in 2004, but the cells are still in use by the magistrates’ court, which is connected to the building via an underground tunnel.
A new Council report into the scheme reveals that the contract for the work will be worth around £4.5m, and the contractor will have to be approved by the Ministry of Justice.
Around £2.2m of this cost is being met by the Homes and Communities Agency as part of the deal which saw them sell the building for £1 to Bradford Council.
The rest will be paid for with cash secured by the Council from the Regional Growth Fund.
The report, which is going before the Council’s Regeneration and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, says: “The Tyrls building occupies a key site adjacent to City Park and its demolition and future redevelopment as grade A office accommodation will contribute to the vitality of the city centre.”
A planning application for the replacement custody suite has been submitted and a decision is due before the end of the month.
If planners give it the green light, building work could begin as early as this July or August. It would then be complete by February next year, allowing the cells in the Tyrls to be decommissioned and the building demolished to make way for a development of around 75,000sq ft of grade-A office space.
A previous idea, to move the magistrates’ court next to the crown and county court complex in Exchange Square, was scrapped because of a lack of funding.
In February, Council leader David Green (Lab) revealed that the Government money for that idea was “no longer available – if it was in the first place”, and welcomed the alternative plan.