Shipley’s bustling heart is on the brink of a monumental makeover as plans unfold for the ambitious redevelopment of its market square.

Bradford Council’s Landscape, Design, and Conservation Team spearheads the planning application for the transformation, a key initiative under the Shipley Streets for People banner set to breathe new life into the market square.

The proposed design envisions a contemporary and versatile space, aptly suited for hosting events and pop-up market stalls. An all-weather canopy is slated to grace the square, ensuring year-round festivities and a lively atmosphere regardless of the weather.

The conventional permanent market stalls will make way for a new arrangement, with regular Shipley markets finding a home beneath the protective canopy and along the pedestrianized promenade. Strategically integrated rain gardens—shallow planted areas designed to manage rain runoff—and comfortable seating zones are set to enhance both the visual aesthetics and practicality of the square, providing an inviting haven for families and Shipley visitors alike.

Support for the market square’s redevelopment comes in the form of £1 million from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and a substantial £3 million from the Government-backed Shipley Towns Fund.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning, and Transport, said: “The Shipley Market Square improvement is an exciting and dynamic project. Removing the old market stalls will improve the look of the town centre but also make it feel safer and more welcoming, particularly at night. It’s a significant step towards creating a vibrant and adaptable town centre with a thriving market. These enhancements will elevate Shipley’s appeal as a great place to live, work, and visit.”

Adam Clerkin, Chair of the Shipley Towns Fund Board added: “The revitalisation of Shipley Market Square is not only a strategic investment in our community but also a boost for local businesses. By creating an inviting and adaptable space, we will increase foot traffic, support our retail sector, and help businesses to thrive. This transformation aligns with our commitment to economic growth and enhancing the overall well-being of our town.”

The community’s voice played a pivotal role in shaping the design, emphasizing not only visual improvements but also a dedication to environmental sustainability.

Pending planning approval, tenders are anticipated to be released this month, with construction potentially commencing in early May. The envisaged timeline projects completion by the year’s end.