The thriving development of an eagerly anticipated community hub in the heart of Shipley is making significant strides with a £2.51 million investment.

The refurbishment of the historic school buildings on Kirkgate is well underway, funded by the Shipley Towns Fund provided by the government. This initiative aims to transform the location into the Shipley Sustainable Community Hub, fostering collaboration between two charitable entities – the Hive and the Kirkgate Centre.

Commencing in the summer of the previous year, the project is progressing smoothly, with both levels of the building now open. Nathan Tanswell, Chair of the Kirkgate Centre, expressed satisfaction, stating, “The building required substantial repairs to ensure safety, comfort, and sustainability for Shipley’s community, and we are thrilled with the progress achieved so far. Preserving key architectural elements is a priority, maintaining the building’s heritage while crafting a state-of-the-art, adaptable, modern space.”

Joy Hart of the Hive added: “The construction of the new extensions to the building will begin shortly. The final result, which is due in Summer this year, will be a modernised building that the people of Shipley can be proud of. The project is a great opportunity for Hive and the Kirkgate centre to work together to offer even more services and reach more people.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said: “The Shipley Sustainable Community Hub is an incredible project and one that will give the local community access to a range of important services. It is exciting to see it move forward and start to take shape. It will be a huge asset to the community.”

Adam Clerkin, Chair of the Shipley Towns Fund added: “The intention is that the Kirkgate Centre building, through the custodianship of these two inspiring organisations, becomes a focal point and a catalyst for regeneration and community development. We are delighted to support it and are pleased to see it develop.”

The Shipley Sustainable Community Hub aims to address social isolation, promote well-being, offer family activities, and make cultural and artistic pursuits accessible to residents. Additionally, it will provide opportunities for training, work experience, and volunteering to support local employment seekers. Plans for community engagement are also in place to gather input on specific programs or initiatives desired by the local populace for the hub.