Recognition for Dalton Mills as complex earns a better grade

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An historic Yorkshire mill has been named as one of the country’s most significant buildings.

English Heritage has upgraded the listing of Dalton Mills in Keighley, which is currently undergoing restoration, from Grade II to Grade II*. The Grade II* listing is only awarded to buildings that are deemed to be ‘particularly important buildings of more than special interest’.

The change in listing means that the mill’s new owner, Bellissimo Workspace, will face stricter controls about preserving the building. But it could also allow greater access to funding.

Dalton Mills, which dates back to 1869, is one of just over 1,500 buildings in Yorkshire to obtain Grade II* status, alongside landmarks such as Leeds Civic Hall and St George’s Hall in Bradford.

Its upgraded status will give it the same recognition as Salts Mill in Saltaire and Bradford’s Manningham Mills which are both Grade II* listed.

The mill, built by Joseph Craven, was once the largest textile mill in the region, employing more than 2,000 workers until the decline of the textile industry changed its fortunes.

Dalton Mills was bought by Paul Harris of Bellissimo in May and a programme of restoration has begun, starting with the roof which was in a state of disrepair, partly due to a major blaze in 2010.

The Clock Tower, which accounts for around 20,000 sq ft, has already been renovated and houses 26 local businesses, including Fab Lab Airedale and Autoprint.

Mr Harris said: “It’s fantastic that the architectural significance of Dalton Mills is being recognised. Although it might put additional constraints on renovating the site, in the long-term the upgraded listing should help to preserve its heritage.”

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