Heritage cash helps Church Green shops in Keighley

Coun Khadim Hussain

Coun Khadim Hussain

First published in Keighley

FURTHER restoration work is being carried out on an historic Keighley town centre street with council and lottery cash.

The Keighley Townscape Initiative (THI) is providing £82,000 towards the latest work to restore Church Street to its Victorian glory.

Major heritage improvements have been carried out previously on parts of the street, which runs alongside Keighley Shared Church and Church Green.

This has included the restoration of Hattersley Crescent, the rebuilding of the Lord Rodney pub, and improvements to the road surface.

Bradford Council is overseeing the latest project, the restoration of a parade of shops from 28 to 34 Church Street.

The work has been welcomed by Coun Khadim Hussain, who represents Keighley Central ward on Bradford Council.

He said: “A lot of money has been spent on Church Green over the years, and the latest project will bring the whole of the street to this standard.

“Church Green is a perfect place for families to enjoy a picnic – not many town centres have this green space.”

The shops have changed use many times over the years, from a branch of the Keighley and District Pig Keeper's Association in 1898 to a hairdresser and sewing machine shop in recent years.

The ground floor is now being converted into one shop unit and the THI is funding the reinstatement of traditional shop fronts and sash windows, along with other repairs, such as re-pointing and re-roofing.

Traditional detailing is being re-created and this building will soon complement the restored Hattersley Crescent on the opposite side of Church Street.

The council said that Church Street was at the heart of the old town of Keighley, where the street layout followed the landscape and North Beck.

The older buildings had a distinct character, with stone slate roofs and simple detailing, and there was a striking contrast with the more ornate late 19th-century buildings of Hattersley Crescent and North Street.

Coun Hussain said the Townscape Heritage Initiative as a whole was helping revitalise the area around North Street, Church Street and High Street.

He added: “It brings increased footfall, brings more people into the town, and makes the town vibrant.”

The THI is funded with £2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £700,000 from Bradford Council.

Property owners in the THI area are still welcome to apply for improvement grants, and should contact THI officer Sue Oakley on 01274 437495.

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