THE Lottery funded restoration of a key community building and arts hub has begun.

South Square in Thornton dates back to 1832, and is currently home to an art gallery, workshops and business space, a pub and cafe.

Earlier this year it was announced that the centre - a terrace of workers cottages set around a cobbled courtyard a short distance from the Bronte's birthplace, would get a £561,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to make much needed repairs to the Listed building.

These works include a replacement roof, introducing insulation and heating, repairing historic stone-work and repairing 99 windows.

Topped up with funding from Arts Council England, Garfield Weston, Swire Charitable Trust and Bradford Council, the centre has recently received £926,000, with the remaining cash going to support three years of activities at South Square.

The building is in the Thornton Village Conservation Area, and is one of the village's main community hubs. It hosts numerous events, as well as major arts exhibitions.

Much needed refurbishment planned for South Square Centre in Thornton

Work on the site started last week, and is being carried out by Ilkley based Dobson Construction.

It is expected to last until June.

Covid permitting, activities run by the centre, including work with schools and care homes will continue at the site while construction is going on.

Vegan cafe Plenty At The Square, based in a unit on the site, is continuing to provide take away food.

It is hoped that the centre will be a key part of the Bradford 2025 City of Culture Bid due to Thornton's links with the Bronte family.