The commencement of the demolition of the NCP car park on Hall Ings in Bradford took place last week.

Preparatory activities, such as the installation of scaffolding, commenced on Monday, 4 December 2023. The actual demolition of the former car park building is scheduled to start early in the new year and is expected to last approximately three months.

Demolition represents the initial phase of a series of enhancements aimed at revitalizing Bradford’s Interchange and its surrounding vicinity.

Before the demolition starts, the public will witness the erection of scaffolding and the installation of protective screens around the higher levels of the car park to ensure public safety during the works. Substantial machinery will be brought to the site in preparation for the demolition set to begin in the new year.

In addition, artwork will be displayed on the hoardings around the site in the new year, while the demolition progresses. Commissioned by Bradford Council and designed by the multi-award-winning artist Teakster, the artwork draws inspiration from the district’s rich textile and design history and the diverse communities involved in the textile trade within the area. Observant viewers will identify the white rose of Yorkshire and a motif derived from the horns depicted in the crest of the Bradford district, originating from the horn given to the victorious hunter in the legend of the Bradford boar.

The demolition of the NCP is expected to bring about the most significant change to the external appearance of the Interchange since its opening in 1973, transforming the arrival experience for visitors to the city centre.

Following the completion of the demolition, a new pocket park will be established on part of the NCP site to introduce more greenery to the Interchange approach. Simultaneously, a new landscaped walkway will connect the Interchange directly to Hall Ings. On Bridge Street, a recreated station forecourt will enhance the existing main entrance to the Interchange. The new landscaped entrance approaches will feature trees and planting, seating, a new car park entrance, and a cycle hub.

The project is slated to be unveiled during the district’s City of Culture year in 2025, providing an attractive, welcoming, and well-connected gateway to the city centre and the City Park area. The external improvements will be complemented by internal enhancements to the Interchange in a later phase, including new seating, digital information boards, safety upgrades, and new signage.

Once the demolition is complete, the materials from the NCP will be ground down for use as aggregate in subsequent stages of the Interchange works and other local projects. Although rare, the public is advised that there might be occasional overnight traffic management works, kept to a minimum. The majority of the work will be conducted during regular daytime hours. Partial lane closures along Hall Ings, in the direction of Bridge Street to Jacobs Well, may be implemented to facilitate the works and expedite the project.

The project team recommends that members of the public sign up for the project’s weekly e-newsletter through the Future Bradford website (https://www.future-bradford.co.uk/) to stay informed.

In tandem with the demolition, work will begin in early 2024 to pedestrianize Hall Ings. New walking and cycling routes, along with seating areas and landscaping, will replace the majority of the existing road space. Coupled with the new space outside the Interchange, these changes will create a significantly enhanced sense of arrival to the city centre for both visitors and commuters.

The Interchange gateway improvement project is a part of the broader transformation of Bradford’s city centre, funded through the government’s Transforming Cities Fund and developed in collaboration between Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “The plans that are being carried out as part of the Transforming Cities Fund project are set to elevate our city centre to the next level. The demolition of the NCP on Hall Ings marks a significant milestone in this process.

“We understand that there is a lot going on in Bradford city centre at the moment – lots of roadworks and building work – but this short-term disruption is paving the way for a transformation of the centre of our city that will benefit us and future generations for many years to come.”

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “This marks an important step forward in the transformation of Bradford city centre in the lead up to UK City of Culture 2025.

“Together we’re making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport, creating a better environment for everyone. A Bradford city centre fit for the 21st century is a key part of my vision for a better-connected West Yorkshire.”

For more information, visit www.future-bradford.co.uk and sign up to receive regular newsletters about the progress of the scheme.