Work to clear a city centre department store to make way for a new market will begin on Monday (November 4).
Bradford Council’s contractors will move onto the Darley Street site next week to begin the strip out of the former Marks & Spencer and neighbouring buildings in readiness for the demolition next year, making way for the construction of the new market.
The £21 million project will see the buildings demolished and a new multi storey market building and “city square” built in its place.
The council has said “colourful hoardings” detailing the scheme will be erected around the former department store as the demolition preparations begin.
Building work is expected to be completed in 2021, with the market opening in 2022.
It is part of a major shake up of the city’s markets and a way of bringing new life to Darley Street, which has suffered from shop closures since The Broadway Shopping Centre opened in November 2015.
Marks & Spencer was one of the stores that relocated to the new centre, leaving behind a huge empty unit.
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Although it has hosted a number of pop up events and arts workshops since the store left, the building has been mainly vacant since.
A number of other stores on the street have since re-located away from Darley Street.
The market shake up will see the existing Oastler Market closed, the site flattened and a new “urban village” built in the top of town area.
The plans were first announced in 2018 and a planning application for the ambitious scheme was approved in May.
The council said the new scheme "features a spacious modern market with dedicated underground servicing areas and a dynamic new public space for open air events and outdoor stalls".
It added: “The new market will offer high quality food and non-food items giving people the opportunity to discover unusual or specialist items, whilst shopping for daily fresh food or enjoying a meal or light snack. The new market will feature a floor dedicated to non-food sales, one selling for fresh food and a food hall offering hot food and drinks.”
The city square could be used to host outdoor concerts and events.
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The council believes the new development will act as a regeneration catalyst, adding to the Bradford’s draw as a shopping and leisure destination and attracting more people into the city centre.
The building has been designed to increase the profile of neighbouring Piccadilly, which boasts a number of high quality Victorian buildings.
The council is currently conducting research giving people an opportunity to have their say on the name of the new market.
Suggested names include Darley Street Market and Bradford Market.
Nearly 1,000 responses have been received and the consultation ends November 14.