£6m multi-use centre approved for world heritage model village

Plans have been unanimously approved for a new £6m Community, Arts, Heritage and Future Technology Centre in Saltaire.

The new centre, which is being Government-funded through the Shipley Towns Fund, is being delivered by Shipley College and the Saltaire Collection.

The building, which will be at the corner of Victoria Road and Caroline Street on land provided by Bradford Council, will provide additional classroom and administration space to support Shipley College, for technology-based teaching and learning.

It will also become the new home for the Saltaire Collection – a large collection of historic artefacts and documents.

There will be a public exhibition space, and community classroom to enable people to learn more about the history of Saltaire.

Alongside five modern new classrooms, the plans include a civic garden to the front of the building and a publicly-accessible rooftop exhibition garden – intended to be open during the daytime.

The new building reinstates a civic function where Saltaire’s now demolished Sunday School’s building once stood.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to enhance Saltaire for the future.

“It is important it is done to an extremely high standard and in a sensitive way which respects the history of this very special place, and the plans certainly reflect that.”

Adam Clerkin, chair of the Shipley Towns Fund said: “We are thrilled the Towns Fund has been able to support this incredible project which will deliver so many development opportunities for local people and visitors alike.

“The approval of this the latest Towns Fund project, again underlines what can be achieved when public-funded projects are considered from a local viewpoint.”

Diana Bird, Principal at Shipley College, explained: “The new building will provide modern teaching facilities to teach local people in-demand technological skills.

“It will create new public green spaces, and a permanent storage and exhibition space to tell the story of Saltaire to visitors – something that our village does not currently have.”

Maggie Smith, trustee of the Saltaire Collection, added: “Our collection provides a unique insight into the lives of Saltaire residents and workers since its foundation in 1853, covering the many dramas and changes from the village’s early days until today.

“We are so excited that, after many years of commitment from our marvellous volunteers and researchers, we will soon be able to share these stories with everyone.”

The plans also include new modern public toilets and changing facilities, which were a core requirement of Shipley Town Council, one of the project stakeholders.