A UNION'S plans to turn an empty city centre shop into new offices have been approved by Bradford Council.

Shortly before Christmas the Unite union submitted a planning application to convert the ground floor and basement of Sunbridge Chambers, a former Premier Food store, into office space. The upper floors are already classed as office space.

The plans were approved last week, with planning officers saying: "This application would create a new use to an otherwise vacant unit would help to maintain the upkeep of this unit within the city centre conservation area."

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The union has not yet revealed how many staff would be moving into the new base.

A spokesman for Unite said: "Unite is planning to have new offices in Bradford as a springboard to stand up for working people in a vibrant and youthful city at what are very challenging times.

‘However, negotiations are still continuing over the property and it would be inappropriate to go into more detail at this stage.”

Unite, the second largest trade union in the UK, has a regional office in Leeds and district offices in Cross Gates, Sheffield, Grimsby, Hull, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.