Exciting plans have been submitted for a transformative multi-million pound project in Shipley, centred around health, well-being, and community, as part of the Shipley Towns Fund initiative.

The ambitious £3 million investment is set to revitalize The Old School building on Farfield Road, currently owned by the mental health charity, The Cellar Trust. Local architectural firm Rance, Booth, and Smith Architects have crafted the proposals, which involve a comprehensive refurbishment of the existing structure, the addition of a new atrium at the front, and extensive landscaping.

The proposed grounds will feature a public-access well-being garden, aiming to enhance the overall experience for the community. The project will be overseen by The Cellar Trust, a well-established mental health charity, in collaboration with strategic partner HALE, also based in Shipley. The mission is to offer health and well-being services in a welcoming and accessible environment, fostering collaboration with various sectors, including the voluntary, public, and social enterprise sectors.

The Cellar Trust CEO Kim Shutler said: “We have an established track record of successfully delivering specialist mental health support. This building will give us new opportunities to work in partnership with other local organisations, who may not easily have access to such facilities.

“We’ll be making good use of the improved facilities with the access to green space and the opportunity for classes and activities. All with the aim of supporting even more people across Shipley.”

Services will be available for the whole community and will particularly focus on supporting vulnerable people. There will be large rooms for groups and events, smaller activity rooms, consulting rooms for clinical and non-clinical interventions as well as a multi-faith and contemplation space.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This new community development will be invaluable, delivering improved access to mental and physical health services and will support the well-being of our community.”

Chairman of Shipley Towns Fund Adam Clerkin added: “We are pleased to support this incredible project, which will change people’s lives. It will provide a wide range of integrated support services, delivered by a skilled workforce and a team of volunteers who are trained in engaging, assessing, motivating and giving people the tools to improve their health and well-being. We are delighted to have been able to support it through the towns fund.”

The development will also allocate office and co-working space for health and well-being providers and social enterprises. The atrium entrance space will include an informal seating area and refreshments to create a welcoming atmosphere.

In addition to the £3 million funding from the Towns Fund, an additional £600,000 has been secured through match funding, leveraging building collateral from The Cellar Trust. The Towns Fund, part of the Government’s Levelling Up plan, has allocated £25 million for projects in Shipley, with the Health, Wellbeing, and Community development being a pivotal component of this initiative.