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Bradfordians Offer Their Views Bradfords Transformational 55M New Victoria Place

Wednesday, 08 October 2008

Approximately 150 Bradfordians attended the public exhibition to showcase the Bradford city centre development, New Victoria Place, last week.

The flagship £55million development, which marks a major investment into the city centre by developer Langtree Artisan, looks set to create in the region of 750 new jobs. The scheme was launched to MP’s, councillors and Bradford’s business community on Monday 29th September 2008 and was open for public viewing everyday from Monday 29th September 2008 until 4pm on Saturday 4th October at the Great Victoria Hotel.

Visitors to the public exhibition were asked to complete a questionnaire to provide their ideas and raise any issues with the redevelopment. A comment form is available on the website until 13th October 2008 www.newvictoriaplace.com. These comments will now be fed into the planning application which will be made on 17th October 2008.

Glyn Turner from Langtree Artisan says: “The public exhibition was a great opportunity for the local community to come along, meet the team, share ideas and visualise what we will deliver at New Victoria Place.

“The majority of those who attended the public exhibition thought that the scheme was a progressive step forward for Bradford city centre, supporting the redevelopment of the Bradford Odeon site, and were very excited about what New Victoria Place will bring to the city, particularly the huge job creation, public realm and retail opportunities. The idea that New Victoria Place will provide a gateway from the educational quarter and link into the Park at the Heart project was also warmly received.

“Some visitors did want to see the refurbishment of the Bradford Odeon, but what we found when we discussed their views was that there was a real lack of understanding about the structural and internal condition of the building and the fact that the refurbishment of this site is not economically feasible.

“What we must remember is that the current building was designed and built for a bespoke use in 1930 but it has since been substantially altered and has lost many of its original features. The building is functionally obsolete and independent research from Colliers CRE has concluded there is no leisure demand for re-using the building in its current form.

“What Langtree Artisan and Yorkshire Forward are doing is creating a benchmark for all future regeneration of Bradford. We have already had numerous enquiries for the office and hotel elements of the development and Langtree Artisan remains committed to delivering this scheme and is investing £55 million to make it a reality.”

The vision, created by architect careyjones, delivers work and leisure space for Bradford residents and visitors, including a hotel, the city centre’s first A-grade office accommodation, apartments, bars, restaurants and cafés, all centred around a vibrant public square and looks set to create in the region of 750 jobs. The development will transform the corner of Princes Way and Thornton Road.

The exhibition informed residents about the planning and design processes undertaken by Langtree Artisan and showcases the scheme which is set to further enhance city centre regeneration.

David Custance from Yorkshire Forward adds: “Bradford is one of this region’s most important cities for business growth and the New Victoria Place development offers an exciting opportunity for the city to achieve its full potential.

”Bradfordians who took the opportunity to come to the exhibition and find out more about the scheme for themselves have used words such as progressive and an inspiring scheme to describe the new vision and this is exactly what we want to see from this development.”

Langtree Artisan and careyjones architects have extensive experience of designing and developing regeneration schemes, transforming neglected areas into highly desirable locations.

If planning permission is granted in spring 2009 it is anticipated that start on site could commence in 2010 and it is likely to have a five year build programme.

Further information is available by calling 0113 2130300 or emailing newvictoriaplace@beattiegroup.com


Notes to Editor:
Background to the developer/designer:
Langtree’s 40 Springardens in Manchester City Centre offers 100,000 sq ft of top-grade speculative office space. This iconic scheme is now homes to blue chip occupiers including HBOS.

Artisan was responsible for the £18m North Bank, Sheffield’s first central riverside regeneration scheme. With a striking design, emphasis on green construction and a new public realm, this is fast-becoming a sought after living and leisure destination.

careyjones is synonymous with flagship design. Responsible for the vision that has delivered the £250million Clarence Dock scheme in Leeds where a sense of place has created a working, living and leisure community around a two acre historic dock basin. careyjones also designed Leeds’ finest, award winning contemporary office building, Princes Exchange.

Designer/developer competition background:
Yorkshire Forward owns the site and building and, in conjunction with Bradford Centre Regeneration, launched a designer/developer competition to determine its future. The criteria for judging the winner were cost, deliverability and viability, architectural quality, contribution to cityscape, innovative design, maximisation of development potential and programme.

Judged by a panel of experts finalists from the 18 expressions of interest were selected in September 2005. Final proposals were received in March 2007 and were exhibited at a public consultation event.

Listed Status background:
English Heritage and the Department for Media, Culture and Sport believe that the Odeon building is not of sufficient quality to warrant Listed status. Six applications for listings have been turned down and the building remains economically unviable in its current form.