THE future of one of the city’s most maligned buildings will be discussed at the next meeting of the Bradford Civic Society.

The group will host a public debate on the role of brutalism in the city – and there will be a particular focus on the future of the landmark High Point building on Westgate.

The derelict former headquarters of Yorkshire Building Society, on one of the highest parts of the city centre, looms over the city centre, and to many people is the city’s ugliest building.

However, the “Save High Point / Raze High point” discussion will include supporters of the building.

It will take place on February 27 at Assembly Bradford in Rawson Square and feature a panel of architects and design experts – including the director of the influential Twentieth Century Society, Catherine Croft.

The society say the debate was inspired by the lack of activity on the 1970s-building, which has been predominately vacant for over two decades.

Although there have been vocal calls for High Point’s demolition, there are a growing number of groups and individuals calling for its preservation and celebration as a significant brutalist landmark in the event of any redevelopment. Speakers will also be asked to consider the future role of the Kirkgate Centre – another prominent brutalist building – in light of the centre’s proposed market refurbishment.

Si Cunningham, society chairman, said: “Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that High Point is a Bradford landmark. We’d like to hear compelling reasons to rid it from the Bradford skyline, but we’ll also hear from those who think it’s a real asset to the city. A healthy, well-informed debate and the exchange of ideas are the essence of what a modern civic society should be doing, so I’m really looking forward to this event. I know it’s going to be a popular one, and probably quite lively too.

"Even our posters for the event, made by local designer Jimmy Smith, have already provoked some strong feelings, with fans of that brutal style of design asking if they can buy prints."

The building was recently named in the society's top 10 buildings in Bradford they wanted to see regenerated in 2018.

Councillor Alex Ross Shaw, portfolio holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport Portfolio on Bradford Council, said: “It’s great the Civic Society are organising debates on these subjects,

“I’m sure one on Bradford’s brutalist architecture will be really interesting. Our brutalist buildings in Bradford have split opinion over the years but our architectural heritage is about more than just our fantastic Victorian buildings so it will be interesting to see what ideas come out about how we can bring some of our different architectural heritage back into use and to the fore.”

More information and tickets can be found at