Keighley politicians related their childhood memories of a Victorian arcade when it was reopened last week following its restoration.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun-cillor Khadim Hussain, unveiled a plaque commemorating the renovation of the historic North Street buildings. A £725,000 grant from the Keighley Townscape Heritage Initiative, financed by Bradford Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, helped cover the cost of the project.

The ground floor hosts several shops and a new cafe, while the other two storeys have all been let as apartments.

Coun Hussain described the arcade as a major building with a heritage going back to the 19th century.

He said: “This building is the jewel in the crown of Keighley, like Keighley is the jewel in the crown of Bradford.”

Fellow district councillor Malcolm Slater (Keighley East) said he had regularly visited shops in North Street with his mother when he was about three years old.

He added: “I’d walk with my mum along North Street, then I’d run through the arcade and feel brave on my own for five seconds!”

Keighley mayor, Coun Sally Walker, described the refurbished arcade as “absolutely fantastic”.

She said: “When I was 15, I came here to a proper lady’s shop for the first time to buy a coat.”

Coun Hussain unveiled a commemorative plaque inside the arcade watched by a crowd of invited guests, including business people and several local councillors.

Speaking at the ceremony, Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, said the scheme was not only about heritage, but also benefited local people.

She added: “The Townscape Heritage Initiative is about regenerating the economy, creating jobs and getting small businesses into the spaces.”