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Bradfords Skyline Illuminated

Tuesday, 08 December 2009

New atmospheric lighting has been installed in Bradford's 19th Century Wool Exchange.

The switch on will take place later this week and will illuminate the Grade-I listed building and showcase its architectural glory for the first time in the building's history.

Bradford Council's Landscape Design Unit and Design and Conservation team has worked in partnership with leading property consultant GVA Grimley, on behalf of the building's owner Eric Wright Group, and English Heritage on the 'Lighting the City' project to transform the Venetian Gothic-inspired building into a night-time feature in Bradford's skyline.

The work costing £30,000 has been carried out by lighting specialist Vallectric and will see the clock tower lit from the inside to illuminate its features while strips of LED lights will be fitted discreetly along the parapets and archways to highlight the detail of the masonry.

Kevin Wideman, an associate from GVA Grimley, comments: "Our role was to ensure the illumination of one of Bradford's most treasured buildings was completed swiftly.

"It's hoped that with our on-going effort to enhance the integrity of this great building and with the streetscene work that is taking place, the Wool Exchange will be maintained as a  valuable asset to the City and play a key role in the overall regeneration of Bradford."

Bradford Council's Executive Member for Environment and Culture, Coun Anne Hawkesworth, said: "The Wool Exchange is one of Bradford's most spectacular pieces of architecture built to symbolise the wealth and importance wool brought to the city.

"The lighting will illuminate some of the Wool Exchange's most striking features such as the clock tower, the archways and the stone detail, which will become a fantastic addition to Bradford's skyline that can now be enjoyed during the day and at night."

The Wool Exchange was designed by Bradford architects Lockwood and Mawson and a foundation stone was laid by then Prime Minister Lord Palmerston before it was completed in 1867.

Eric Wright Group is the long leaseholder of the Wool Exchange and refurbished the building in the mid 1990's when it was a run down and under utilised asset in the centre of the city.

The Wool Exchange features art throughout the building with carved portraits of Cobden, Sir Titus Salt, Stephenson, Watt, Arkwright, Jacquard Gladstone and Palmerston between the ground floor arches facing Market Street

Facing Bank Street, Raleigh, Drake, Columbus, Cook and Anson are featured, while flanking the porched entrance below the tower are statues of Bishop Blaize, the patron saint of woolcombers, and King Edward III who was instrumental in promoting the wool trade.


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GVA Grimley Ltd, 10 Stratton Street, London W1J 8JR.

(1) GVA Grimley Ltd is one of the UK's leading firms of property consultants operating from 12 offices with 890 fee earners generating a turnover of £137.3 million year ending 30th April 2009.

(2)The firm provides a full range of property-related services including agency, planning and regeneration, rating, building consultancy, investment, management and valuation consultancy. GVA Grimley also offers specialist advice in areas such as telecomms, education, healthcare, retail, contamination, plant and machinery and the automotive and roadside sectors.

(3)GVA Grimley is a founding member of GVA Worldwide, an international organization of real estate industry leaders serving key markets in over 25 countries. The organization is comprised of more than 3200 real estate professionals in over 80 markets worldwide. In 2008, GVA Worldwide partners collectively completed approximately $30 billion in transactions and managed more than 175 million square feet of office, industrial, retail and specialized property. For further information about GVA Grimley please visit www.gva.co.uk