Owner of iconic Keighley complex ask people for ideas on usage

Dalton Mills owner Paul Harris outside the iconic building in Keighley

Dalton Mills owner Paul Harris outside the iconic building in Keighley

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by

A historic Keighley mill complex is enjoying a £30 million renaissance.

More than 85 per cent of business space at Dalton Mills is now occupied following extensive restoration.

The impressive Dalton Lane site, which boasts a grade II-listed status putting it among the most architecturally important buildings in the UK, is also proving a hit with television and film companies.

It has provided a backdrop for popular programmes ranging from Peaky Blinders to North and South as well as a host of Bollywood movies.

Dalton Mills owner Paul Harris, who bought the iconic building last year, said he was delighted with the revitalisation of the site, and was keen to hear people’s views on what future provision they would like to see there.

Suggestions so far have included retail and leisure facilities, an Asian wedding venue, a wildlife centre and even an observatory.

“Dalton Mills was a building which immediately caught my eye as I personally think it is beautiful and offers so much scope and potential,” said healthcare entrepreneur Mr Harris.

“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.

“I would love to hear from commercial ventures, which could envisage their future in this wonderful setting.”

In its heyday Dalton Mills was a thriving manufacturing base employing more than 1,000 people, but as the textile industry suffered so too did the fortunes of the building and by the 1980s it was virtually empty.

The mill was acquired by Magna Holdings in 2004 but was dogged by bad luck, including a major blaze four years ago, which destroyed a large section of the complex.

Now restoration work to the Genappe Mill part of the site, including a new roof and sandblasting of the stonework, has been carried out.

About 50,000 sq ft of the Clock Tower and Riverside section of the complex has become a thriving business hub, housing a range of companies.

More work is needed and Mr Harris says he is aware of the challenge he faces, but he is determined the landmark will once again become a cornerstone of the community.

“In November last year English Heritage upgraded Dalton Mills to grade II*,” he said.

“Although the change in listing means stricter controls about preserving the building, it could also offer greater access to funding to speed up the restoration even further.

“Its upgraded status also gives it the same recognition as near neighbours Salts Mill in Saltaire and Bradford’s Manningham Mills.”.

Suggestions for possible facilities at the site, or inquiries about units, can be e-mailed to enquiries@daltonmills.co.uk.


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