Arcade owners consider future of hidden Victorian street
The owners of the Royal Arcade in Keighley are wondering what to do with an entire Victorian street that's been discovered buried below their shopping centre.
The street dates back to the 1890s but they don't know if the units were just used for storage for the shops above or retail outlets in their own right. They're now considering whether to turn it in to a wine bar, develop it in to arts and crafts shops or preserve it exactly as it is.
The man hoping to development an underground Victorian shopping arcade in Keighley says there are many planning restrictions - and anything built will fit in with its Victorian pa
"We’d be very restricted for what we could do.
"It’s mainly on safety and fire assessment grounds. If we can get these things sorted then we definitely will develop it.
"It’s something we would really like to do. We’ve looked at opening it up with craft shops. It will be a working environment - shops that would fit in with what it used to be. We’ll utilise what’s in there."
– Nick Holroyd, manager of the Royal Arcade in Keighley
Other ideas being considered include creating a visitor attraction or converting the old shops for use by craftsmen and specialist traders.
Architect brought in to restore "forgotten shopping street"
When builders discovered an underground shopping arcade in Keighley, much of the Victorian building work on the cellars of seven shops was still intact, while wooden shop-fronts and stable pens were in place.
Constructors also found doors, signs and fittings from some of the original shops in the street, which was then owned by Frank Booth and Mark Holroyd.
Now Nick Holroyd, manager of the Royal Arcade, which is above the discovery, is investigating whether the street - once at ground level - can be restored.
He has enlisted an architect and structural engineer - and plans are being made to develop the street, which has space for up to eight units.
They may be celebrating the opening of the Trinity shopping centre in Leeds on Thursday. But similar shopping centre schemes in Sheffield and Bradford remain on hold. A few views here from the folk of Bradford.
The developers behind a large shopping development in Bradford say they are committed to finishing the project.
Protesters have moved in to the site in the city centre, angry that building work has not been taking place and the Westfield project was mothballed in 2009.
Westfield Shoppingtowns Limited have written an open letter to the protesters, saying the development has fallen foul of the financial crisis, but they remain committed to Bradford.
Despite these conditions, Westfield has remained committed to Bradford and has invested significant funds and time into seeking to progress the Broadway scheme. Like you, we are are eager to start this development as soon as possible and we are progressing with the key leasing pre-lettings that need to happen before construction can begin. In October 2011, Westfield received a revised planning permission for the scheme and we are currently working with the Council to market Bradford asa retail destination.