A CITY centre street blighted by empty shops will be home to a bar and music venue if new plans are approved.

The opening of The Broadway Shopping Centre almost three years ago led to a number of shops closing on Darley Street, once Bradford’s main shopping street.

One of the retailers to move to Broadway and vacate its Darley Street branch was computer games store Game, which moved a year ago.

It left a prominent unit on the corner of Darley Street and Duke Street empty.

Now Steve Le Shaw, who runs the popular Al’s Dime Bar on North Parade, has submitted a planning application to open a new bar in the unit, promising a “substantial” investment in the building.

It says the bar will also feature live music, and create three full time and two part time jobs.

Bradford Council has been pushing for more varied types of businesses to move to areas that used to be shopping strongholds, and recently announced plans to make it easier for cafes, bars and other businesses to move into empty shop units.

The application for the new bar points out how the city’s retail core has moved from Darley Street towards the Broadway.

It says: “Many of the units in the area are now vacant following the development of the nearby Broadway Shopping Centre in 2015 and the area is in decline.

“The applicant currently runs the Dime Bar in North Parade and other successful bars in the area and now proposes to invest substantially with a refurbishment and internal alteration of the property.

“It is understood that Bradford Council have been contacted by the applicant and are willing to assist with funding for the proposals through the Bradford city Centre Growth Zone and acknowledge the desperate need for any businesses to re locate and invest in this area.

“It is considered that the loss of a retail unit from within a shopping area will have no further detriment to this area as the natural shopping area has now naturally re located towards the new Broadway Shopping Centre.”

The application calls for the bar to open as late as 2am, seven days a week.

A decision is expected in late October.

On the pedestrianised stretch of Darley Street there are currently just seven out of 18 units occupied. One of those is a charity and another an arts group’s temporary hub.

Bradford Council is planning to open a new food market in the former Marks & Spencer building, with a predicted opening date of 2021.