An empty shop unit in the heart of Bradford is to be transformed into an art space for the next 12 months.

The vacant unit between Markaz and Starbucks in Centenary Square, which was used to house a free cinema during the launch of Bradford City of Film, will be available for art projects including exhibitions, installations and theatre.

Gideon Seymour, director of Bradford arts development organisation Fabric, which is running activities at the unit, said: “We would like artists and organisations to come forward with ideas.

“They could be traditional exhibitions of photos and art but they might also be installations that members of the public can interact with or live performances.”

About 60 people attended a recent meeting at the unit to find more about using it as an art space.

Mr Seymour said: “It’s incredibly encouraging. I had not seen so many people come along to something before with such an open-ended opportunity and be wowed at the space and get so excited at what’s possible.”

Fabric has been given £15,000 in Government grants to help run the scheme and make the building suitable for use by arts organisations and £10,000 by the Arts Council as part of its Art in Empty Spaces project to support groups using the building.

Robert Firth, a director at Holbeck Land, which acts as asset manager for the units, said: “We anticipate that they will add something to the overall offer at Centenary Square and bring some new footfall to the area which hasn’t been captured in the past.

“We are open to their new and positive ideas and it means the unit will be occupied, which is better than it being dead frontage. We are very pleased it’s going to be operating from the near future.”

Fabric is also inviting people to come forward with ideas for artwork in the garden area at the Westfield site. Call (01274) 370291 or e-mail