Saltaire announces programme of exhibitions, open days, and arts events to celebrate 20 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Saltaire from the Leeds Liverpool canal.Saltaire from the Leeds Liverpool canal.
Saltaire from the Leeds Liverpool canal.
Saltaire will mark the 20 year anniversary of becoming a World Heritage Site with a number of events and exhibitions.

The model village celebrates two decades since its UNESCO inscription this year.

The title made the village, founded by Sir Titus Salt in 1851, one of the most protected heritage areas of the District.

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To commemorate this milestone, Saltaire, and a number of other World Heritage sites in the UK, will together in a programme of shared celebrations over the course of the year.

Celebrations include an exhibition looking at the life of Sir Titus, as well as that of his immediate successor James Roberts.

Foundation and Legacy will be based at Salts Mill – the jewel in the crown of the village.

It will show visitors images and artefacts from the history of the village and its founders.

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There will also be displays about two other sites that will share the UNESCO anniversary – New Lanark in Scotland and Derwent Valley in Derbyshire.

The exhibition starts on May 28 and will last for three weeks.

There will also be several Saltaire Inspired arts events, including the annual Arts Trail around the village and a video screening of a tour of the model village at Bradford’s City Park Big Screen.

There will also be a Heritage Open Day event in September which will give the public rare access to Mr. Salt’s Dining Hall.

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Saltaire Institute (Victoria Hall) will be celebrating 150 years of leisure and learning provision from December 2021-2022 by presenting performances, events and tours of the building.

The hall was opened in 1871, and fast became the cultural hub of the village.

Today it is used for weddings, fairs and is the home of the annual Saltaire Day of Dance.

Saltaire was built when textile boss Titus Salt decided to open a new factory, away from the pollution of Bradford.

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Salts Mill was built on the banks of the River Aire, and a model village, including a library, school, church and park, built for the mill workers.

However, he forbade any pubs from opening in the village.

Saltaire is now one of Bradford’s most popular tourist attractions.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport at Bradford Council, said: “We are looking forward to celebrating local events at our Saltaire World Heritage Site.

“It’s hoped these events will help people learn about the site, appreciate and understand its special qualities and bring income to help businesses in the area. These are some of the many benefits that World Heritage Site status brings to the district.”