December 27, 2020 Bradford Civic Society

Regeneration latest: new city park + Darley Street demolition news

A vast plot of land in Bradford City Centre could become a new green park as part of plans for post-Covid recovery in the city.

The Bradford Telegraph & Argus reports that Bradford City Council’s Economic Recovery Plan has been formulated with civic and business leaders to help sustain jobs, create new opportunities and boost productivity as the district recovers from the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a report set to go before the City Council’s ruling Executive in January 2021, a new city centre urban green space – which could potentially be based at the derelict former Royal Mail site at Forster Square – is one of many suggestions for making Bradford more attractive for citizens and visitors. There are also plans for potentially designating Little Germany as a Heritage Action Zone, turning it into a regional creative centre, improving facilities for the creative and cultural industries in the area to drive growth, attract visitors, and to also create new living, working and leisure space.

Bradford Civic Society’s Chairperson, Si Cunningham, is a member of the Bradford Economic Recovery Board, and has worked as part of a group that focussed on the role of Culture and Place in the city’s post-Covid recovery. There is also a heavy focus on Bradford’s bid to be the UK City of Culture in the plans.

Bradford Civic Society has previously called for action over the derelict Forster Square site, where plans for a new leisure development (as part of an extension to the Forster Square retail park) were scrapped in 2020. The site has been vacant since 2015, and it is unclear what landowners British Land have planned for its future use.

All change on Darley Street

Meanwhile, Bradford Council has announced that work to demolish the former Marks and Spencer building on Darley Street – along with neighbouring derelict shops – will commence in February 2021. Once demolition is complete, a new municipal market will be built to replace the current markets at John Street and the Kirkgate Centre. Bradford Civic Society’s Place Panel will receive an update on the plans from Bradford City Council at a meeting in January.