THREE heritage buildings in Bradford city centre will undergo a £31 million refurbishment thanks to a grant from West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

But details of which buildings the money is being spent on are being kept under wraps for confidentiality reasons.

The authority has recently approved £7.4 million of funding that will allow the refurbishments to go ahead, with the remaining £24m coming from the private sector.

They say that without the funding, developers would be put off by the high costs of bringing the old buildings back to life, and they would likely remain empty.

The developments are expected to create 283 new housing units and 4,366 square metres of business spaces in buildings described as being “of major significance to Bradford’s industrial and commercial heritage”.

Work on the first building is due to start in December, and end in March 2020. All three buildings are expected to have been completed by March 2021.

WYCA says the money will help developers deal with the “high abnormal costs resulting from the age of the properties, state of repair and limitations of historic status, coupled with the barrier of low market values in the area”.

The money will be used for works like stripping parts of the buildings out, water-proofing buildings and preparing the sites.

A report by the WYCA says the initial funding was needed because the buildings “are or will be vacant, in a poor state of repair and requiring significant remedial works to bring them forward for productive development use”.


It says the developments will see Bradford Council “entering into joint venture partnerships with the owner/developers of each of the buildings, in order to invest funding to remove the burden of a range of abnormal costs that are constraining the viable redevelopment of each property.

“The scheme will trigger further investment and increased city centre residency will boost vitality and viability through increased spend.”

A spokesman for the Authority told the Telegraph & Argus that a “confidentiality requirement” meant they were unable to provide details of which buildings or developers would get the funding.

Si Cunningham, chair of Bradford Civic Society, said: “At face value it seems like a good thing, bringing derelict buildings back into use, but the report doesn’t include much detail as to which properties would benefit and how the money would be used. It could set a concerning precedent if public money is being used to prop up private enterprises, particularly if it’s for the creation of more small city centre flats.

“But if we’re talking about bringing these properties back to life with mixed usage and properly integrating them into the city, I’m all for it.”