The London based owner of an empty city centre building, who has never been to Bradford, has been urged not to turn it into a vape shop.
4-6 Darley Street lies next to the Darley Street Market development, which is due to open next year.
After years of laying empty, a planning application to refurbish the building and split it into two shop units was recently submitted to Bradford Council by Alan Becker, the director of London based Covered Markets Ltd.
On a recent tour around Bradford city centre, business leaders were told it was hoped the refurbished building could be used by businesses who have either been unsuccessful in applying for a space in the new market, or by market stall owners who want to scale up their business.
The tour – run by Bradford Council, had stopped off at the site of the new market, which will replace Oastler Market and Darley Street Market once it opens.
It will have a floor dedicated to non food items, a floor selling fresh food items and a floor that would act as a hot food court.
There will also be a stage, outdoor city square and large digital screen.
Steven Jenks, senior project manager at Bradford Council, said the hope was the market would spark the regeneration of other empty buildings, including 4-6 Darley Street.
Standing outside of that vacant shop he said: “We’ve been talking with the owner of this building.
“He has never been to Bradford, so he was asking us what we want to see in there.
“We said we don’t want a vape shop, and we don’t want a tattoo parlour.
“One option is if a current stallholder can’t get a place in the new market they could move into a unit like this.”
He said there were similar talks with the owners of buildings at the top of the street – which are also soon to be refurbished.
Those on the tour were told the food court would open much later than the market, with Mr Jenks saying: “The market might be closed, but we’d still have a food court open, bringing more activity into the city centre at night.
“It would be a good place for people to eat before or after going to the theatre.”
He said there had been over 200 applications by people wanting to run stalls.
Manoj Joshi, chair of the Bradford Economic Partnership, questioned if some existing traders would miss out when the current markets close and Darley Street Market opens.
He knew of one person who has had market stalls in Bradford for 35 years, and currently has four stalls.
He has only been offered one stall in the new market.
Mr Jenks said traders would be offered support. If they did not make the cut for the new market, the Council would try to help them set up in nearby empty units.