Historic Yorkshire building could be restored to Victorian glory under new plans

Plans are underway to refurbish an eyesore city centre building that will soon be overlooking a new “pocket park.”

Vacant 19 Northgate, in Oastler Square, is probably most recognisable for the unusual artwork on its frontage, a statue of a greyhound painted to look like a dalmatian sat on a second-floor ledge.

Its most recent use has been a discount store, but the building, thought to date back to the 1850s, has been vacant for a number of years. It is currently a blight on the area, with garish signage and boarded-up windows.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now a planning application to restore the building to its Victorian glory has been submitted to Bradford Council by Salim Khan. The plans would see the ground floor retail unit restored, and the upper floors converted into seven, one-bed flats. The unit fronts onto Oastler Square, which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment.

The building has been derelict for some timeThe building has been derelict for some time
The building has been derelict for some time

Work, partly funded by the National Lottery and EU, will see new planters, trees and seating created in the square to create a new city centre park – with the statue of Richard Oastler remaining in place.

The planning application says the work to restore the shop could be funded by the Bradford Townscape Heritage Scheme – another National Lottery funded project that allows owners of heritage buildings in the city centre to apply for financial support to restore the buildings to their original frontages.

The application says: “The building has been vacant for a number of years other than the storage of furniture, and has fallen into disrepair. The applicant proposes to invest substantially in bringing this vacant property back into beneficial use in conjunction with financial support from the Bradford Townscape Heritage Scheme.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The refurbishment will include a recreation of a traditional Victorian shopfront, and the installation of metal gates over the currently sealed off alley to the side of the unit. Roller shutters and inappropriate signage will be removed.

The application adds: “The scheme will bring additional footfall to the location and create local employment, and create new affordable housing.”

A decision on the application is expected in the New Year. An application for the next door but one unit, 21 Northgate, has also been submitted by Mr Khan. That plan would see the upper two floors of that unit, previously used by Cedar Housing, converted into three flats.

A decision on that application is also expected next month.