TWO popular but now vacant venues in Shipley will soon be brought back to life, providing a boost to the town’s nightlife.

The Shipley Pride, a Victorian pub that has been shut since last year, has been bought by Bradford pub owner William Wagstaff, who plans to restore it to its former glory and re-open it, focusing on craft beers and real ales.

And a unit on nearby Westgate, the former Connexion diner, is in the process of being transformed into a new bar and eatery called Hullabaloo, which will serve craft beers and street food.

Mr Wagstaff, who also runs the Beehive and Jacob’s Well in Bradford city centre, said he took on the Shipley Pride after hearing the Saltaire Road pub could have been sold to developers. He plans an extensive refurbishment of the building to restore its Victorian features, and will expand the pub into its basement space, as well as creating an outdoor area for small concerts.

He said: “It has been shut on and off for some time. I’d heard people wanted to buy it to change its use and that was the main reason I took it on – I wanted to prevent the town losing it as a pub.

“The changes will basically double the size of the pub, because we’re now using the basement. It is a lovely old building.

“It is a question of refurbishing the pub the best way we can, so it probably won’t re-open until next year.”

He said of recent pub openings in the Shipley and Saltaire areas: “It all helps join the dots between the areas, bringing people from Shipley into Saltaire and the other way round.”

Jimmy Greenwood, who lives in Saltaire, started work on transforming Connexion into Hullabaloo earlier this week, with the hope that it will re-open as soon as possible.

He said: “It is going to be fantastic when these places open.

“People will be able to get to Shipley station, walk down, have plenty of places to go to and go back from Saltaire station. I think it is going to tie up with the other local bars beautifully.”