Bradford one of five towns to pilot project to take over unused high street space

Bradford Kirkgate Shopping Centre

Bradford is one of five towns across the country looking to turn empty shops into vibrant community hubs open to the public.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has launched the Open Doors project, in partnership with the Meanwhile Foundation, will help community projects transform town centres by renovating unused retail units and making them fit for purpose.

Bradford’s lead project will be on John Street, where a central shop front will be spruced up with plants, sofas and lockers.

Working with experts in managing the process of vacant high street properties which are temporarily available or for ‘meanwhile use’, the Government will work to match public and private landlords with community groups offering vital services from well-being classes to business support sessions and mentoring for social enterprises.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “Our high streets are the beating heart of the places we call home and make a real difference to the wellbeing of our communities.

“This pilot is a great way to tackle some of the challenges faced by landlords and communities. It will support groups across the country and demonstrate the potential ‘meanwhile use’ of unused spaces.”

High Streets Minister Jake Berry added:  “This pilot is just a glimpse of what we can do to revamp vacant properties on our high streets, boost more community hubs and create more spaces for people work, live and shop.”



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