PEOPLE with memories of working in the district's mills from the 1970s onwards are being asked to contribute to a major new project.

Lost Mills and Ghost Mansions is collating stories and mapping sites across the Bradford district which were once home to bustling textile mill buildings.

The project is being spearheaded by Shipley-based 509 Arts, with National Lottery heritage funding and support from Bradford Council and other partner organisations, including Bradford Community Broadcasting.

Collected memories will form part of an artwork, commissioned with Saltaire Inspired, which will tour the district.

Bradford Community Broadcasting will work with schools and communities to spotlight stories of closed mills, and create special programmes.

A website with information and online learning materials will be available in the new year.

And then in June next year, the initiative will culminate with an outdoor celebration at a district mill site.

Alan Dix, artistic director of 509 Arts, says: "There were once over 350 working mills in Bradford and almost every family in the district was connected to the textile industry in some way.

"Mill buildings were everywhere; Barkerend, Listers, Dalton in Keighley, Salts, Albany and many more were household names.

"In the last 50 years, many of them have closed. Today there are less than 20, and the rest have been demolished or repurposed. Some, sadly, have burned to the ground. Bradford’s great textile buildings and the people who worked in them are slowly disappearing.

"Lost Mills and Ghost Mansions is rediscovering the stories of our recent textile past in words, pictures, audio and video.

"We'll work with former mill employees who remember the last years of Bradford district's mass textile industry. Many of the workers are now in their 70s and 80s. We will explore their stories with today’s young Bradfordians, who may not know what life was like when mills employed whole communities.

"The face of Bradford district has changed dramatically in the recent past and the mills and textile mansions that were so dominant are rapidly disappearing. Our small team will work across the district, recording stories and documenting the places where buildings stood.

"Bradford 2025 supported our application and this project will be a great way of getting people involved in preparation for our City of Culture celebrations."

Do you, or someone you know, have a mill story to tell?

For more details or to get involved, email or visit