Contractor appointed for Bradford arts centre revamp

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Simpson began site work on the multi-million pound capital redevelopment on 22nd April 2024.

The project will see the creation of a new theatre, five new dance studios, a new central staircase and a permanent home for volunteer-led community radio station Bradford Community Broadcasting (BCB).

The introduction of a new entrance, two new lifts and a Changing Places facility will make the building fully accessible for the first time in its 140-year history. The building is scheduled to reopen as Bradford Arts Centre in summer 2025, as a landmark moment in Bradford’s year as UK City of Culture.

Simpson’s experience working on the redevelopment of heritage buildings and arts venues includes York Art Gallery, Hull Maritime Museum and Salford Cathedral.

Horsforth-based Turner & Townsend has been appointed capital project manager. Principal architects and contract administrators is Halliday Clark Architects, who have been developing the project with Kala Sangam since its inception in 2018.

Quantity surveyor is DKP Consulting, mechanical & electrical specialist is BWB Consulting and structural engineers is SGM Structural Design.

Jas Athwal, chair of Kala Sangam, said: ‘After many years of planning, we are delighted that work has finally started to transform our home at St Peter’s House into a fully accessible space, ready to welcome artists, audiences, our local communities and businesses in 2025 as Bradford Arts Centre.

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“Bradford is desperately in need of more space to create and enjoy arts and culture, and this redevelopment will ensure our building is a more open, welcoming and inclusive venue that the whole district can enjoy.”

The project is backed by the Department of Culture Media & Sport, Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

Kala Sangam creative director Alex Croft said: “‘I’m delighted that we have appointed Simpson Limited as main contractors for the redevelopment. Right from our first meeting, we’ve seen the passion, dedication and professionalism that they bring to their projects – it feels like we couldn’t have placed this critical project in safer hands.

“It has also been brilliant to welcome Turner & Townsend onto the team. Their support and hard work have been critical in getting the project to this exciting stage and we’re all looking forward to working with them, and drawing on their extensive experience, throughout the build.”

Simpson managing director Andy Gatenby said: “This is an exciting time for the city ahead of Bradford being the City of Culture for 2025 and one that Simpson are proud to be a part of.”

Left to right are Richard Walsh (Halliday Clark), Andy Gatenby (Simpson), Jasbir Athwal (Kala Sangam), Andy Hogg (Simpson), Alex Croft (Kala Sangam), Ross Wilkinson (Simpson), Eleanor Crosbie (Halliday Clark) [© Karol Wyszynski]

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