Market square refurbishment project delayed

The planned refurbishment of Shipley’s Market Square will not be completed until May 2025, later than expected, new documents show.

Planning permission for the project was granted earlier this year, but work will not get under way until August, according to minutes from a meeting of the Shipley Towns Fund Board.

The scheme will see existing fixed market stalls removed, with pop-up stalls located under a canopy, as well as more green space to stage events.

Bradford Council said the increasing cost of materials had contributed to the delay.

The scheme is being partly funded by the Shipley Towns Fund, a £25m government scheme to boost regeneration.

The minutes also showed that work to reopen the public toilets on the Market Square would not begin until October due to rising costs, despite plans being approved months ago.

In 2025, Bradford District becomes the UK’s City of Culture, with events planned across Bradford’s towns and villages as well as in the city centre.

Board members raised concerns over whether the market project would affect City of Culture events, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The minutes said: "The board questioned whether the scheme would impact traders, plus visitors during the City of Culture year as the delays in starting and completion may have an impact on traders and the community."

'Liaising with traders'

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: "While the works to improve Shipley town centre are under way, we will be liaising with traders to ensure market days can still proceed where possible.

"Work will be phased to allow markets and events to take place as much as possible during construction.

"Once the work is complete, Shipley will have a fantastic new town centre square, with more greenery and event space for people to enjoy.

"Increasing costs of materials, as a result of escalating shipping charges, have contributed to delays to the process."

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