WORK to demolish a city centre car park will finally begin in the New Year, and is expected to last around three months.

Once the NCP car park on Hall Ings is gone, a new “plaza” will be developed around the entrance to Bradford Interchange as part of the biggest change to the appearance of the station since it was built in the early 1970s.

Scaffolding is now being erected around the concrete structure in preparation for the work, and hoarding featuring artwork celebrating Bradford and Yorkshire will be installed around the site while the demolition takes place.

Bradford Council says the new Interchange plaza will open in 2025 as part of City of Culture celebrations.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Scaffolding to the rear of the NCP car parkScaffolding to the rear of the NCP car park (Image: Bradford Council)

A report into the Interchange work released last year suggested the demolition work could start in November 2022.

But a planning application for the demolition and replacement landscaping was only submitted in August, and was approved late last month.

The multi storey car park was purchased by Bradford Council for £4.18m in 2017, saying the site could be part of long-term plans to improve the Interchange.

In 2020 the Government awarded West Yorkshire £317m in “Transforming Cities Fund” cash as part of its Devolution deal.

Among the schemes that would be funded through this pot of cash was work to pedestrianise areas of Bradford city centre, including Hall Ings and Market Street, and replacing the NCP car park with a new, landscaped entrance to Bradford Interchange.

Early stages of this work has been underway since early Summer, and is expected to ramp up in the New Year, with the car park demolition and the pedestrianisation work.

The plaza will include new “pocket parks,” benches and a cycle hub.

On Bridge Street, a new station forecourt will be recreated to improve the existing main entranceway to the Interchange, with the existing taxi bays re-located to Bridge Street.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An artist's impression of the planned view of Bradford Interchange from Bridge StreetAn artist's impression of the planned view of Bradford Interchange from Bridge Street (Image: Bradford Council)

The application for the work said: “The scheme will provide a safe and secure interchange area, with appropriate lighting and CCTV camera provision to encourage all parts of the community to use the transport services and the interchange.

“The proposed development has also been designed with the ambition to provide suitable access provision for all users.”

It says planting on the site will “aim to facilitate a narrative of ‘From Meadow to Moor,’ and there will be swift and bat boxes to encourage wildlife to the city centre site.

The station’s future as a rail hub is up in the air, with Government recently awarding £2b for a new city centre station that is expected to be open by 2030 and be located off Wakefield Road.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Inside the NCP car parkInside the NCP car park (Image: Bradford Council)

But the Interchange is likely to remain an important part of Bradford’s bus network, as well as the proposed West Yorkshire Mass Transit System.  Ahead of demolition beginning, a protective screens put up around higher levels of the car park for public safety during works.

Large machinery will be brought to site before demolition commences in the new year.

Also in the new year, artwork will be going up on the hoardings. The artwork, commissioned by Bradford Council and designed by artist Teakster, draws inspiration from the district’s textile and design history and the diverse communities which have been involved in the textile trade.   The external work is to be complemented by new facilities inside the Interchange itself as part of a later phase, including new seating, digital information boards, safety improvements and new signage.    Once demolished, the material from the NCP will be ground down for use as aggregate required in other stages of works to the Interchange and other local projects.

The Council have warned members of the public that there may be some traffic management works overnight on occasion, but this will be kept to a minimum.

The large majority of work will be undertaken during daytime working hours. There may also be some partial lane closures along Hall Ings, in the direction of Bridge Street to Jacobs Well, to help facilitate the works and bring the project forward.   Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “The plans that are being carried out are set to elevate our city centre to the next level. The demolition of the NCP on Hall Ings marks a significant milestone in this process.  “We understand that there is a lot going on in Bradford city centre at the moment – lots of roadworks and building work – but this short-term disruption is paving the way for a transformation of the centre of our city that will benefit us and future generations for many years to come.”