Markets plan moves forward

Plans to overhaul Bradford’s markets are about to take another step forward.

A ‘professional services multi-functional team’ is to be recruited to draw up plans for the redevelopment of Kirkgate Market and a new food market on Darley Street.  The deadline to bid for the contract, worth £1 million, is 22 June.

It is hoped that the new markets will be ready by 2021.  Oastler Market would be demolished for housing, and the former Marks & Spencer site would become the food market.

The changes follow the collapse of a planned £3.8 million re-vamp of the Oastler centre, which was shelved after the closure of the anchor store Morrisons in 2015.  Work on the two sites is expected to start in late 2019.

The contract notice by the Council says: “The Council believes that strong and viable markets within the city centre support its social, economic and environmental objectives.  The Council is looking to revitalise its market offer whilst at the same time exploring how it can best assist in the regeneration of Darley Street and is therefore seeking a professional services multi-functional team. This is a complex scenario and options need to be considered with care to ensure maximum benefit for the market traders, other Top of Town businesses and the visiting public.”

Substantial changes were needed, said Bradford Council, once The Broadway Centre opened. Morrisons closed last year, with a resulting drop in footfall in the Oastler Centre.  M&S re-located to Broadway and, since then, several other Darley Street closures have exacerbated the problem.

The M&S unit is currently a temporary arts space.

Written on 7th June 2017Mike Cartwright. Published in Bradford Council, Current Issues, Economy, News