A huge clean-up of the golden Yorkshire stone pavements in Bradford’s historic Little Germany is underway.
The city’s Business Improvement District (BID) has taken on the mammoth task of removing years of dirt and grime from the whole area to help bring it back to its best.
The deep clean, which is expected to continue from now until well into March, is part of the BID’s highly popular five-year programme of hot-washing and chewing gum removal which has seen the sparkle brought back to many of the busiest streets in the city centre’s key footfall areas.
Jonny Noble, manager of the BID – the limited not-for-profit company funded by more than 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations to help promote and develop the city centre – said that, in recent years, the area’s pavements had suffered from a lack of resources to give it the care and attention it needed.
“One of the BID’s key objectives since its launch three years ago has been to tackle deep-cleaning projects that are not part of the Council’s day-to-day cleansing programme,” he said.
“The levy-paying businesses that make up our members and provide the funds for the BID’s many projects know that the people who live in and come to the city centre – be that to work, have fun or just pay a visit – want it to look its best.
“They are committed to doing all they can to making it as nice a place to visit as possible and key to that is removing what we can of the years of built-up grime in important areas to make them more attractive and enjoyable.
“Nowhere is that more the case than in Little Germany, where some of our finest Victorian buildings – many of which are listed – can be found.”
“Clean” is one of the four strategic pillars of the BID’s five-year business plan – along with Safe, Alive and Promoted – and each pillar is overseen by a committee made up of members of the operating board.
Chair of the Clean group David Crossley, who is also general manager of the Midland Hotel, said: “If we want people to keep coming back to Bradford, spending money in our shops, bars and restaurants, staying in our hotels and visiting our leisure attractions, we need it to look as smart as possible.
“Little Germany has tens of thousands of visitors every year already and it has huge potential to develop as a place people come to enjoy the fantastic architecture that is a key part of Bradford’s appeal.
“It is also home to many businesses – such as Freeman Grattan Holdings, the Impact Hub, Schofield Sweeney and so on – as well as Bradford Chamber of Commerce, Bradford Playhouse, Bradford Cathedral and many residential premises.
“There are also hopes for it to become a Heritage Action Zone which would bring in new investment and new businesses to help improve the area further.
“So it is vitally important that it is looked after and that’s why the BID has decided to make this major investment in bringing its beautiful stone pavements back to the level of cleanliness they deserve.”
The buildings in Little Germany date back to the middle of the 19th century when Bradford was the wool capital of the world. They were mainly offices and warehouses built by German wool merchants who moved to Bradford to join its prosperous textile industry. About 55 of them have Listed status.
Bradford’s Economic Recovery Plan says Heritage Action Zone status would help to transform the area into a regional creative centre.
In recent years, Little Germany has been the location for filming scenes for a number of TV shows, including Gentleman Jack, Downton Abbey and All Creatures Great and Small.