PLANS to re-develop High Point, which could “add some gravitas to Bradford’s skyline,” are likely to get a multi million pound boost.

Constructed in the 1970s as the headquarters for Yorkshire Building Society, the long empty concrete skyscraper is seen as many as one of the city’s biggest eyesores. It has also been described as “a symbol of market failure.”

And now it has been revealed that West Yorkshire Combined Authority will provide a £2.9 million grant to help bring the building back to life.

Earlier this year plans to convert the office tower into up to 87 apartments were revealed by Circus Developments (Bradford). Next week West Yorkshire Combined Authority is expected to approve support for the £9.4 million scheme, with funding coming Bradford Heritage Properties fund.

In 2018 the authority announced it would had set aside £7.4 million to support the re-development of three long empty city centre heritage buildings.

Plan to turn derelict listed mill buildings into 117 apartments revealed

Last year it was revealed that Conditioning House, a derelict mill off Shipley Airedale Road, was one of the buildings, and would receive a £3 million grant. A report to the Authority’s Investment Committee, meeting next Thursday, reveals that High Point is the second building.

Earlier this year a permitted development application to convert the building into flats was approved by Bradford Council.

The plans include a new glass lobby for the building, and a report to the Combined Authority says the plans will also create commercial space on the ground floor.

That area of the city centre is due to undergo some major changes in the coming years, with plans to move the city market to Darley Street, flatten the Oastler Centre and build an “urban village” of 1,000 homes.

Bradford Council will be partnering with Circus Development for the re-development.

A report to the investment committee says: “The refurbishment of this historic iconic building will act as a catalyst for regeneration within the wider area. The scheme will enable 87 new homes and will also create 422 square meters of business space in a key priority urban centre, which will potentially create 24 new jobs.

“The derelict state is a symbol of market failure and has a detrimental effect on the surrounding area. Rehabilitation of the building will act as a catalyst for the investment planned for the City Village area.”

The report says work is due to start next month and be completed by January 2022.

Chair of Bradford Civic Society Si Cunningham said: “It’s good to see this kind of investment in Bradford and I do think it will help ensure that it’s a quality, sustainable conversion we end up seeing here. I know High Point isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the building does have its fans and I’ve always personally felt that it adds a bit of gravitas to Bradford’s skyline. I hope this investment, along with the attention that the building is getting from architects and designers, means that we will see something quite striking happen to the exterior of High Point, which would be a massive boost to Bradford’s City of Culture bid too.”