Consultation kicks off for Bradford City Village
Revitalising the city’s former retail core and delivering 1,000 homes are the intertwined aims of the project, led by Bradford Council and English Cities Fund.
The local authority and ECF – the joint venture between Muse Places, L&G and Homes England – are working together to create a sustainable neighbourhood in the ‘top of the town’ and Darley Street areas, including the sites of the Kirkgate and Oastler shopping centres.
Much of the area is taken up by outdated retail stock, which the city will look to trim, bring out the best of heritage buildings within the area and introduce a wider mix of uses, along with creating improved public spaces, landscaping and traffic-calmed streets.
Following the announcement of ECF as preferred partner at UKREiiF in May, the consultation is the first major milestone, informing subsequent plans.
The project will look to build on the momentum of the new £23m Darley Street Market development, NEC Bradford Live and Muse’s recently completed 56,400 sq ft One City Park building, as well as the major highway and public realm infrastructure improvements taking place.
The public consultation is now running online and will be open until 7 January 2024, along with public events at Kirkgate and the Broadway shopping centres in December.
Simon Dew, development director at ECF, said: “Whilst much needed new housing is at the heart of this vision, City Village will also boost opportunities for independent retail, cafes, bars and business spaces.
“At this early stage as our plans are still taking shape, we’re starting a conversation with local residents and businesses. We want to hear their views on our initial ideas for regenerating this area of the city and understand what’s important to them. We plan to submit a planning application for City Village towards the end of 2024, and there will be further opportunities for people to get involved as our plans develop.”
The council bought the Kirkgate centre for £15.5m in November 2022, a deal that enabled it to expand the footprint of the City Village project and accommodate the 1,000 homes the partnership now intends to deliver.
Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “City Village is one of the most significant regeneration developments in the district, bringing not just much needed quality housing into the city centre, but also providing opportunities for our independent retail and hospitality businesses.
“This first consultation is an early opportunity for people to have their say and help shape the future of the historic ‘Top of Town’ area of the city centre.”
- Read Place Yorkshire’s Q&A with Muse and ECF development director Simon Dew here