Plans to give Shipley’s “tired and neglected” Market Square multi-million pound facelift approved

Plans to give Shipley’s “tired and neglected” Market Square a multi-million pound facelift have been approved.

An application to remove the square’s fixed market stalls and replace it with a much greener public square, along with a canopy and space for temporary stalls, went before Bradford Council’s Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel on Wednesday.

Members were told that the fixed stalls in the square were a poor use of the town centre space, as only a third of stalls were used on Shipley’s three market days.

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The work will be funded with £3 million from the Government’s Shipley Towns Fund and a further £1m from West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Shipley Market Artists Impression 2024 2Shipley Market Artists Impression 2024 2
Shipley Market Artists Impression 2024 2

The square will be transformed with more green spaces, and four EV charging spaces and more cycle parking will be added to the existing car park – which is being retained.

A separate application to re-open a block of public toilets next to the square has already been approved.

At Wednesday’s meeting planning officer Lucy Fillingham said: “On non- market days the fixed stalls are not a good use of space. Even on market days it is not as well used as it used to be.”

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Showing members a photo of empty fixed market stalls, she said: “Four days out of seven it looks like this. It is not inviting, it is underused and it blocks public space.”

She said the new Market Square would be a “multi-functional space for market traders and other users” adding: “I think people will see this as a welcome improvement for Shipley.”

Members were told that a statue of a sheep in the square – the Shipley Shopper, would be removed, with Mrs Fillingham saying: “It is in a poor state of repair – it would not likely withstand being moved to an alternative location.”

Members pointed out that the space under the canopy would be much smaller than the existing space for market traders.

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Mrs Fillingham said: “It is a smaller space, but on a market day you are lucky to get a third occupancy. This would concentrate things.”

Chair of the Committee Councillor Sinead Engel (Lab, Clayton and Fairweather Green) said: “I don’t think anyone here would disagree that the market currently looks tired, neglected and needs a facelift.

“The plans we’ve seen here today look really nice.”

Councillor Kevin Warnes (Green, Shipley) said: “It looks fantastic, it will transform the town centre.”

Members then unanimously approved the application.

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