Bradford Council planning to sell one of its office buildings described as “one of the most exciting investment opportunities”

Bradford Council is planning to sell one of its office buildings, which it claims will be “one of the most exciting investment opportunities in the city”.

The closure of Margaret McMillan Tower is expected to save Bradford Council £1.1m a year, and staff will be re-located to City Hall and Britannia House.

Plans to close the multi-storey office building were first announced in late 2022 as part of council budget proposals, but the closure has not yet happened.

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Late on Friday, the council issued a release saying it now planned to close the building and put it on the market, with one council boss saying it was in a prime city centre site and “could potentially fulfil a number of uses in the future”.

Margaret Mcmillan TowerMargaret Mcmillan Tower
Margaret Mcmillan Tower

Named after the nursery school pioneer, Margaret McMillan Tower was once the Bradford Central Library.

But the library was condemned as a fire risk and closed in 2011.

After a £9.3m refurbishment it was re-opened in 2015 as the new home of Bradford Council’s children’s services department.

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Standing in front of the building is the infamous Baby of the North statue – one of the district’s most divisive pieces of public art.

The building also overlooks a major scheme to pedestrianise Hall Ings and create a new park.

Friday’s statement said: “Bradford Council is looking to consolidate its estate in the city centre which will save £1.1million per year.

“The council regularly reviews the use of its buildings to ensure that facilities operate efficiently and effectively in light of changing patterns of use.

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“The programme will ensure staff can be accommodated more effectively, whilst delivering significant budget savings.

“The council proposes to close and eventually dispose of Margaret McMillan Tower.

“The building sits on the boundary of the council’s Transforming Cities work near the former Jacob’s Well roundabout.

“With new public realm and green spaces on its doorstep and sitting next to the National Science and Media Museum, which is also undergoing a significant refurbishment, Margaret McMillan Tower will represent one of the most exciting investment opportunities in the city.”

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Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “We have always carefully monitored the use of our buildings to ensure they remain cost-effective.

“It makes sense to look at how these spaces fit our future needs and how we can best utilise our assets and save money where possible.

“Although there will be initial costs associated with the move it will save £1.1m year on year and make our workspaces fit for future needs.

“The disposal of Margaret McMillan Tower also represents an exciting opportunity for the next phase of our regeneration programme.

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“It sits in a prime spot in the city centre and could potentially fulfil a number of uses in the future.

“There’s a bit of work to do yet before we take it to market but we’re looking forward to exploring opportunities for it in the future.”

The statement also says Bradford’s City Library is due to move from its current site in City Park to a new location, and that “details will follow shortly”.

In August, the council announced it was “exploring options” for the library’s future. Its current location costs the council £420,000 in rent each year.

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