A landmark scheme to create Bradford’s tallest building is back on track two years after being cast into doubt when the original developer hit financial difficulties.

The 38-storey Citygate scheme, at the bottom of Manchester Road, was mothballed in mid-2008 when Asquith Properties, the company that won a competition to develop the former Reyner House site, went into administration.

Now the Skelwith Group, based in York, has taken over the development, pledging to deliver 500 apartments to regenerate the prime site on the city centre’s southern approach.

Skelwith will work as the lead developer alongside Bradford Trident Trading, which has identified the area as being in need of improvement.

Phase one, worth £30m, will involve the construction of 224 apartments in two blocks. Building work is due to start in early 2011 and completion is expected by the end of 2013.

Phase two will include the imposing 38-storey glass tower that formed the unique selling point of the previous developer’s scheme.

Plans for the site were granted outline planning permission by Bradford Council in September, 2007. The bulk of the scheme will remain the same under Skelwith’s plan, although the internal configuration of the building is likely to change.

Apartments within the Aspire Citygate development will start from £50,000. Skelwith believes there is currently a strong market for small, yet luxurious apartments.

Paul Ellis, managing director of the Skelwith Group, said: “We believe that even in the current financial climate, comfortable, well-designed apartments can be delivered in the heart of Bradford.

“Most importantly, we feel this can be delivered at the right price to be successful. Not only that, we feel the development adds to what is already a vibrant and exciting city and is paving the way for further developments in and around the centre of Bradford.”

Vipin Joshi, vice chairman and director of Bradford Trident Trading, said “The redevelopment and regeneration on Manchester Road is long overdue and Aspire CityGate is a prime example of how, even in these difficult financial times, we are driving projects through.

“The capital receipts from this development form part of the succession strategy of our charity Bradford Trident in continuing to deliver neighbourhood management in the Bradford Trident community council area.”

The Citygate scheme would be the Skelwith Group’s second development in Bradford city centre.

The company has been encouraged by the success of the first phase of the Woolston Warehouse development, off Sunbridge Road, which was completed in 2009.

Founded in 2004, The Skelwith Group has a history of developing landmark residential, leisure and mixed-use projects throughout the north of England.

Traditionally the firm, based in Poppleton, York, was involved in major residential schemes and in recent years moved into the leisure and mixed use sector as the market changed. The group’s ongoing projects include one of the most ambitious leisure developments in the north of England.

The £100m Flaxby Country Resort, near Harrogate, is under construction and will be a luxury retreat with a hotel, spa, a range of restaurants and bars.

Another major project for Skelwith is the mixed-use Aspire scheme in York. The ground floor of the development will house a convenience store, the first and second floors will house serviced offices and the penthouse floor will house six luxurious apartments.

In 2007, the group completed Vincent House, one of the most striking developments in Darlington containing 26 spacious and contemporary apartments.

The company has undertaken projects in the district on several occasions, including a mill conversion in Clayton Heights, a development of townhouses in Denholme and the Woolston Warehouse apartment scheme in Sunbridge Road, Bradford.