By ANISAH ARIF
Grand plans have been submitted for a brand-new “multi-million pound” event space supposedly named the “Bradford Exhibition Centre” to replace a long-empty, neglected site.
The site, which was previously occupied by Alston Mills wool combing plant, has been empty since 1983 when the buildings were demolished.
The proposal was unveiled to Bradford Council and would hope to see the creation of an event venue, made up of four separate spaces, and 15 business units on Princeroyd Way, off Ingleby Road.
The application, submitted by Ingleby Developments and TH3M Architects, displays CGI Images showing how the land would be transformed. It shows that strong emphasis has been placed on creating a building of “high architectural merit” to enhance the local area.
It adds: “The proposed development at Princeroyd Way aspires to create a new exhibition/community facility for local residents and aims to create a unique destination for individuals and businesses from around the UK to host events, exhibitions and wedding functions, which in turn is hoped to improve the local economy and help in the further regeneration of the city.
“The proposed development aims to create a unique architectural landmark in the form of the ‘Bradford Exhibition Centre’ or ‘BEC’ in short, at the same time providing small scale industrial units which are currently in high-demand due to limited availability of similar building types in the city and surrounding regions.
“The mixed use development provides opportunity for employment generation and start-up enterprise occupying the units, in-turn improving the socio-economic status of the local district.”
The applicants are serious about delivering the project and say, subject to the plans being given the green light, they are “eager” to get going, with funds and investment in place.
“The proposed scheme will finally bring this long-derelict site back into productive and beneficial use,” says the application.
The application says the “significant undertaking” has been “very carefully” designed in relation to the site, the neighbouring housing, other businesses and the immediate and wider road network.
The events building is described as being of a “high architectural quality” and contemporary design, which will “offer a clear and welcome contrast to much of the mundane and, in too many cases, poor architectural quality of the surroundings”.
This new proposal has the potential to create new employment and as the increasing demand for event and wedding venue is becoming clear in the Bradford area, it may give locals a place to function events. However, the concern for additional traffic and parking problems will be an on-going issue for objectors within the area.
Mike Cartwright from the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce told the Asian Sunday: “Bringing more vacant buildings and sites back into use has to be a good thing. It improves the landscape of the locality and adds to the vibrancy of the area. We have far too many empty buildings and vacant plots of land that could be better utilised in some way. This scheme would enhance the facilities offer for business and leisure events, create jobs and assist with regeneration. However, we have to have the right developments in the most suitable places, of course, and other factors such as parking and access need to be taken into account, aswell as having the best blend of businesses and organisations from different sectors. We look forward to hearing of the application’s progress.”
The new venture is just one of many that aim to create a specialised space for event operations. Recently opened, Leeds Plaza on Leeds Road, contains many Asian designer formal and party wear which has successfully attracted many local people wanting to find the perfect party wear.
Prior to this, a previous attempt was made to convert a nearby empty mill and former clothing store into an Asian venue. The Bradford Council refused the plans, named Westfield House, saying the site did not have enough parking for the proposed use as a banqueting suite for the use of weddings.