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Shop plan for Keighley's Victoria Hotel
Plans to transform Keighley’s Victoria Hotel into shops and flats have been welcomed by politicians and regeneration bosses.
But the potential boost for town centre trade is tempered by disappointment Keighley will lose much-needed hotel space.
The hope is new upmarket retail units will attract more shoppers to Cavendish Street, while extra residents will also spend money in the locality.
Plans were revealed this week by Harendra Patel, one of the directors of the company that owns the landmark Victorian building.
Cavendish Keighley Properties Ltd, based in Leicester, bought Victoria Hotel in January, but it has been empty since March.
Mr Patel said: “We’ve submitted a feasibility study to the council to see if the property can be developed to build flats upstairs and four shops downstairs, leaving the front as it is, where practical.
“As this is an iconic building, we’ve also contacted the council to see if a loan for bringing properties back into use is available.
“If Keighley councillors, together with Bradford District Council or any housing association, wish to take part in a joint venture with us, we are open to talks.”
Councillor Andrew Mallinson, former chairman of Keighley Town Centre Partnership, said the pub trade was in decline and the owners probably had no choice but to look at other uses.
He added: “We need to see more vibrant accommodation for retail, and I think this development will see that. Hopefully, it will bring people into town to shop.
“It’s a part of Cavendish Street that could do with some refurbishment. It’s not doing the town any favours if it looks tatty.”
Khadim Hussain, the Lord Mayor of Bradford and a Keighley Central Ward councillor, said it was sad such a traditional old hotel was going out of use.
He added: “If the building is used properly and increases footfall in the town centre, that’s a good thing, but we already have quite a number of empty shops.”
Keighley Town Centre Assoc-iation chairman Steve Seymour said: “If new shops come into town, that’s a benefit.
“We’re looking for new traders rather than duplication, but customers do like choice. I don’t want to see any more bookies or loan shops – it needs to be carefully considered.”
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