WORK to turn a listed building at one of the district’s most popular tourist attractions into a visitors’ centre has begun.

The Grade II listed water tower at Keighley Station is next to the starting point of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – a heritage rail line that passes through Haworth and Oakworth.

Scaffolding has been installed around the tower on platform four at Keighley Station as part of the £100,000 project, funded by the Government-funded Keighley Towns Fund.

A further £42,000 in additional funding will come from The Railway Heritage Trust.

A planning application to refurbish the tower, which dates back to 1883, was approved by Bradford Council earlier this year.

A 30,000-gallon water tank sits on the roof of the historic industrial building, which still provides the water for the railway’s steam locomotives.

The conversion to create a visitors’ centre will see its interior restored to create an accessible centre providing information about the engines and the history of the line.

The work will not compromise the operational function of the water tower itself.

It is one of the projects to get funding through the £33m Keighley Towns Fund, funded by Government.

Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Transport and Planning Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw said: “This historic water tower is believed to be the last functioning one of its kind nationally.

“It is a really important structure, and we are delighted it will have a new lease of life for the future while maintaining the crucial purpose for which it was built.”

Chairman of the Keighley Towns Fund Ian Hayfield said: “The KWVR is one of the leading educational, heritage and tourist attractions across the district. This project is part of a whole list of projects considered and planned by the KWVR which will see it modernise and transform its offer, so it can continue to delight passengers and visitors for many years to come.”

Remedial work has recently started on the tower, with vegetation being cleared and an access pathway being built at the back of the building. Minor repairs are currently being carried out on the tank and to fix the level indicator whilst fitting a new float valve.

Work has also started on the interior, with the walls being fully cleaned, ready for a full white-wash repaint.

Work on a new raised floor in the tower will start soon.