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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Councillors given tour of site of new £23m city centre market

A group of Councillors have been shown round the site of Bradford’s state of the art new market – which is due to open in a year’s time.

And after the tour they were given an update on the plans for the £23m facility, including proposals to install sections of the long demolished Victorian Kirkgate Market at the site.

Under construction Darley Street Market is being built on the site of the former Marks & Spencer building on Darley Street.

Darley Street Market
Image: LDRS

It will include three floors of market stalls, a food court, stage and outdoor public square.

When it opens next September the city centre’s existing markets, Oastler Market and the market in the Kirkgate Shopping Centre, will shut, with both sites earmarked for demolition.

Work on the new market is well underway, and recent weeks shoppers will have seen huge concrete lift shafts emerging from behind the hoarding on Darley Street.

On Tuesday afternoon members of Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee were shown around the site.

They first viewed the construction work from above – from the rooftop of Vintry House on Piccadilly, which has been used as a base by developers Kier.

The birds eye view shows the scale of the site, and how the modern market will fit between Victorian buildings on what was once Bradford’s main shopping street.

Darley Street Market frame
Image: LDRS

Councillors were then shown around the site, including the steel beams being installed – slowly revealing the shape of the market hall.

After the tour the committee was given an update on the progress of the market, and what it will look like in a year’s time.

Colin Wolstenholme, Markets Manager, told members the ground floor would have non-food market stalls, with fresh food sold on the first floor.

The third floor would have hot food and drink stalls, with 11 food stalls and two bars.

The food court would have a 500 capacity.

There would also be two large cafes at street level, and a community kitchen where people will be able to learn how to cook.

He said there would be measures to make it much more environmentally sustainable than existing Council facilities – including solar panels that power lifts and escalators and tanks collecting rainwater to be used in the building’s plumbing.

Aspects of the demolished Kirkgate Market – replaced by the Kirkgate shopping centre in the 1970s, will be bought out of storage and installed in the public square. Mr Wolstenholme added: “We’ll try to create a history trail that tells the story of markets in Bradford.”

Councillor Marcus Dearden (Lab, Bingley) said: “I think this market will end up winning awards.”

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