A NEW lease of life has been given to a dilapidated former Bradford nightclub building which became a magnet for drug abuse and vandalism after its closure.

The Glydegate Square complex, next to the Alhambra, was once home to clubs including Walkabout, Revolution and Tequila, but had stood empty and a shadow of its former self for some time, becoming a haven for anti-social behaviour.

Last year, plans were revealed by the Anglican Diocese of Leeds to transform the building into a new £4.6 million city centre place of worship called Fountains Church, a nod to the iconic City Park fountains.

In December 2019, the Telegraph & Argus was given a tour of the building and the scale of the work needed to bring it back into use was hard to comprehend.

Used needles and other drug paraphernalia littered floors and surfaces throughout the building, painting a stark picture of how its glory days were long gone.

How the building looked last year - read more here.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Those behind the new church have been undeterred in their mission and the difference nearly one year on - despite challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic - is immense.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The transformed building The transformed building

Reverend Linda Maslen, Minister at Fountains Church, said: “It’s actually just over a year since we took over the building here. At that stage it was a complete and utter nightmare, all full of drugs, just completely devastating inside where people had ripped everything out.

“It was a tough period for us, it’s probably not the best year to plant a church, but we’ve all learnt some incredibly powerful lessons that I think will help us, not just next year, but for the years to come.

"It’s just amazing, it was really emotional when they handed the keys over, because we’ve seen it go from such a place of devastation to a place which is really very beautiful, peaceful and very calm. I just really can’t wait until we can start and invite people in.”

She added: “I think this is going to be a place where people can come and just pause, where it can be unhurried, where they can just come and be. I think post-Covid, that’s going to be so important because we know that although we’ve had so many horrible deaths from Covid, and everybody is so fearful of that disease, actually there’s so much else that’s around and about.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A welcoming new entrance A welcoming new entrance

“As people come into this place, it is a place of hope.”

Phase one of the church has been launched and opens for prayer today, but not services as of yet because of the current restrictions. Phase 2, which was Revolution, will see more worship space created, particularly for children and young people.

It’s also hoped that it can be used to reach out to those who may be on the margins of society.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Light shines through in what was once a dark, vandalised space Light shines through in what was once a dark, vandalised space

Phase three, which runs across the building on the upper level, will be turned into an 800-person auditorium, but it’s likely to be some time before that plan gets underway.

“I think this is a real place of welcome for people of Christian faith, no faith, other faiths,” said Rev Maslen.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Rev MaslenRev Maslen

“It’s a place of gathering and we would love to be able to welcome people in, it’s going to be a place of hospitality.”