PART of Bradford city centre has been used as a national example of an “at risk” conservation area.

Goitside is highlighted as being one of 11 conservation areas in the Bradford district that are classed as being at risk in the Civic Voice’s annual report.

And overall Bradford, which has 56 conservation areas in total, is recognised as being third on the list of local authorities with the most conservation areas ‘at risk’, behind the London Borough of Islington and the City of Nottingham.

The Goitside Conservation Area includes a large area on the outskirts of the city centre, from Thornton Road to Westgate, and takes in areas of Grattan Road and Sunbridge Road. Many of the buildings are Victorian textile mills and warehouses that have suffered from neglect since the decline of the wool industry.

Although some buildings have been converted into offices or flats, many are derelict, with some larger buildings missing their roofs and characterised by boarded-up windows.

The report by Civic Voice, the national voice for the civic movement, says: “This decline has particularly affected Goitside and there are numerous vacant industrial buildings, some of which appear to be totally derelict, which need re-purposing to survive. Secondary routes through the area are unkempt and feel unsafe.”

The report points out that Bradford Council was due to review its conservation area appraisal for Goitside, which was first carried out over a decade ago, in 2012. But the report adds: “No review has since been undertaken and a Conservation Area with huge potential continues to decline.”

Si Cunningham, chair of the Bradford Civic Society, said: “Although this report highlights Bradford’s large number of ‘at risk’ conservation areas, it isn’t necessarily bad news for our district. Conservation areas provide us with enormous opportunities to regenerate districts that are unique to our city and traditionally full of character.In Bradford, Goitside is a very beautiful and historic part of the city centre that is ripe to become a vibrant new neighbourhood. When you look up, you could be in Manhattan, but clearly some regeneration is needed to bring some of these buildings and streets back into viable usage.

“I’m grateful for Civic Voice for taking the time to come to Bradford and study the Goitside in particular. I’ll now be using this report and lobbying Historic England to dedicate it as a Heritage Action Zone – a scheme that could help unlock huge economic potential for this important conservation area.”


A council spokesperson said: “Bradford is blessed with a wealth of heritage sites which give our district’s landscapes such dramatic and distinctive character. We’ve had some great successes with the management of our built heritage such as Haworth and Little Horton Green, and we’re working with partners on ways we can support owners to bring heritage buildings back into use and support the regeneration of surrounding areas.

“Having such a large amount of heritage buildings and conservation areas brings challenges but we have comprehensive appraisals for all of our 59 conservation areas which support their preservation and development. Goitside is one of Bradford’s earliest and most important industrial areas. The long term vacancy and poor condition of some of the buildings are issues the council is aware of and have discussed with Historic England. Heritage Action Zones are one of several mechanisms that the council has considered and we are happy to work with the Civic Society on ways we can support the regeneration of this area.”