A towering landmark has been upgraded and placed among the top eight per cent of nationally significant buildings – including world-famous Salts Mill.

Historic Dalton Mills in Keighley has had its status reviewed by English Heritage and has been moved up from a Grade II to a Grade II* listing.

The new ranking is only awarded to a select few in the UK, those deemed by English Heritage to be particularly important. The change means the mill’s new owner will face stricter controls about preservation – but it could also allow greater access to funding.

Owner Paul Harris, of Bellissimo Workspace, said he was delighted Dalton Mills was now in exalted company. “It’s fantastic that the architectural significance is being recognised,” he said yesterday.

“Although it might put additional constraints on renovating the site, in the long term the upgraded listing should help to preserve its heritage.

“I think it is a beautiful building, which is what prompted me to buy it and it’s certainly worthy of its new listing.”

Dalton Mills, which dates back to 1869, will become the eighth building in Keighley to obtain either Grade I or Grade II* status.

Its new grading gives it the same recognition as Salts Mill and Manningham Mills, which are both Grade II* listed.

Built by Joseph Craven, it was once the largest textile mill in the region, employing more than 2,000 workers.

Mr Harris bought it in May and restoration has begun, starting with the roof, which was in disrepair, partly due to a major blaze in 2010.

The Clock Tower, which accounts for around 20,000 sq ft, has already been renovated and houses 26 businesses.

Mr Harris is seeking local opinion about uses for the rest of the 200,000 sq ft site. Some ideas include a manufacturing or green energy hub, an educational museum or Asian wedding venue.

The mill frequently attracts TV and film makers and has featured in Peaky Blinders, North and South and a number of Bollywood films.

e-mail: chris.tate@telegraphandargus.co.uk