THE University of Bradford has scrapped plans to cover a 1960s mural on its city centre campus with cladding.

Plans to cover large swathes of the building in cladding, including the mural at the entrance of the Richmond Building, were first submitted in late December.

But after a wave of objections to the plans, including from National group The 20th Century Society and the son of the artist behind the work, the University has now amended the plans to retain the mural as a permanent feature of the building.

The mural was designed and built by architect and artist Joseph Mayo in 1964, with colours designed to reflect Bradford's history of fabrics and dyes.

But under the plans submitted by the University the mural, and several other areas of buildings on the campus, would be covered by new cladding to improve energy efficiency.

37 people, including the 20th Century Society objected to the plans - and now the University has amended the scheme in order to retain the mural.

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If the mural had been covered it would have been the second piece by Mayo that Bradford would have lost in recent years.

Another ceramic mural by the artist was fixed to a Grade II listed building at the former Rhodesway School, which was demolished to make way for Dixons Allerton Academy.

In the University's application it said parts of the campus that are not currently clad suffered from "poor insulation, air and water penetration." The new cladding would help improve the building and prevent the loss of heat - thus making the buildings more environmentally friendly.

But the the decision to clad over the mural, and replace it with University branding, attracted a large amount of objections.

Dr Paul Mayo, son of Joseph Mayo, was one of the people to object to the initial plans. He said: "The mosaic represents an era of industrial design & manufacture which has been widely vandalised, not least locally in the destruction of the Rhodesway School mosaic.

"The drawings submitted show an utterly bland result from this application. Whatever the reasons for the proposed cladding another method should be considered before an attractive public art object is lost to this area."

One objector Tracey Tomlin said: "Bradford has some fabulous architecture, it should be cherished not destroyed."

G Lees added: "This is public art, made for the enjoyment and engagement of the general public and it should not be removed from public access."

Christopher Marsen wrote to say: "I believe this is the last surviving public Mayo mural in the UK. It is of national significance.

"To even contemplate cladding over the Richmond mural is bizarre."

And Andy Medhurst's objection said: "The planned change would be a needless piece of cultural vandalism."

A spokesman for the University of Bradford said this week: "The University is continually monitoring this project, which will bring many important benefits, particularly in terms of energy efficiency, and the mural at the entrance to the Richmond Building will remain as a permanent feature."

A spokesperson for Bradford Civic Society said: "We are aware that the national C20 Society, who are experts in matters of 20th Century design, have expressed concerns about plans for a 1960s mural at the University.

"The University appear to be responding positively to questions about the design, and we understand that an amended proposal has been submitted for consideration.

"Bradford Civic Society will always encourage the highest standards of design in Bradford, and refurbishment projects should always be sympathetic to the age and style of the building concerned."

After the change to the plan, Mark Annand wrote to the Council to support the scheme, saying; "Delighted that the University has quickly acted to avoid what would have been a grave mis-step, this tweak will greatly enhance the work overall."