Shipley’s eye-catching clock tower could be re-purposed into a visitor attraction

Shipley’s eye-catching clock tower being re-purposed into a visitor attraction is one of several proposals included in a document that sets out the town’s future.

The draft Shipley Development Framework sets out how the town could grow and change in the coming years and decades, and includes proposals such as the creation of a new canalside creative quarter and an “ecology park.”

And the proposals, a consultation on which ends next week, suggest the town makes the most of the clock tower – arguably Shipley’s most recognisable and divisive landmark.

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The framework includes plans to boost the town’s Civic Quarter, including making more of Shipley Rail Station, Town Hall, and market.

Shipley Clock Tower 2Shipley Clock Tower 2
Shipley Clock Tower 2

However, there is currently no funding identified for any of the proposals, with Bradford Council saying they are only “indicative” of how the area could be developed.

The clock tower, one of several examples of brutalist architecture in Bradford, and the indoor market was opened in 1961 by Bruce Forsyth.

At the time it was one of just four free standing clock towers in the country.

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Referring to the tower’s possible future, the framework suggests: “Repurposing the iconic Clock Tower to create a visitor attraction and viewing platform towards Baildon Moor and surrounding countryside.

“The redevelopment of the surrounding site, which currently houses Shipley’s Underground Market, could provide for new mixed uses within the town centre, including high-quality residential.”

It says residential and commercial space could be created near the train station, as well as “a complementary food and beverage offer for rail passengers, which will be better connected by a new footbridge into the retail core.”

Improving the town’s market offer could be achieved by “creating a more flexible outdoor market square to host regular markets as well as events, alongside an improved new indoor market and offer including food stallholders housed within a new Food Hall, as well as potential for new small business start-ups and creatives.”

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Residential space could be created above shops, and Shipley Town Hall “used for broader non-civic uses such as an event space.”

A proposed Creative Quarter would be created along the Leeds Liverpool Canal, and build on the success of Wharfe Street Studios – which has helped bring creative independent businesses to the town.

A proposed Bradford Beck Ecology Park would run alongside Valley Road and stretch to Windhill, and make the most of Bradford Beck by creating a new park around it.

It would also involve the refurbishment of the derelict Carnegie Library.

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Two areas to the East of the town would be designated as “innovation zones” where high tech business would be encouraged to locate.

To have your say on the plans visit