A STUDY is to take place exploring new ways of bringing West Yorkshire textile mills back in to use, using two restored mills in the district as examples.

The aim of the Historic England study will be to understand what makes a successful conversion and offer practical advice and grants to the owners.

The subsequent report will be published next year and will offer solutions for a selection of important mills, in particular those on the Heritage At Risk register.

It will also give recommendations on what owners can do to rescue such vulnerable buildings.

The Urban Splash regeneration of the Lister Mills complex in Manningham, will be used as an example, said Tammy Whitaker, planning and conservation director for Yorkshire.


And the ongoing restoration of Dalton Mills in Keighley will also form part of the study, she added.

In addition two further still-derelict mill buildings will be among those studied in detail to look at what can be done with them for the future - Low Mills in Keighley which is At Risk, and Prospect Mill in Thornton, which is in a conservation area on the At Risk register.

"We will be looking at both successful conversions to see what has worked and why it has worked, and also at those that are struggling," Ms Whitaker told the Telegraph & Argus.

"And we will also be looking at the prospects for textile mills without a plan in place, such as Prospect Mill and Low Mills. We need to understand what it will cost, what it will generate in terms of revenue and how it can be funded. With large mill buildings, and particularly those that are listed, we have to be quite creative in terms of how the restoration can be financed."

She added: “The textile mills once defined West Yorkshire. We want to work with owners and local authorities to bring these buildings, many on our Heritage at Risk register, back in use. They were at the centre of the industrial revolution and by converting them into homes and businesses, they can once again help drive the 21st Century Northern Powerhouse.”

Duncan Wilson, the new chief executive of Historic England, said: “This is a new era for Yorkshire’s heritage and Historic England is committed to working with local communities, owners and partners to ensure this heritage is valued and protected. From Yorkshire’s special historic buildings to those that form the backdrop to everyday life, this heritage is the physical embodiment of the past and the legacy that together we shall carry into the future.”

Mr Wilson, and chairman Sir Laurie Magnus, were due to be in Leeds today to present Historic England's plans for Yorkshire for the year ahead

Historic England, previously known as English Heritage, is the public body for England's historic environment, and is responsible for the Heritage At Risk register, which is updated annually.

Lister Mills is a collection of Grade II* listed mills and warehouses that have been restored from a once-derelict state to create homes, offices, cafes, retail and leisure spaces.

The Dalton Mills complex is on the Heritage At Risk register as a grade II* listed building that is currently undergoing a phased repair and refurbishment.

For more information visit historicengland.org.uk.