Viewing platform vision for Shipley clock tower revealed in town plan

A 1960s clock tower in the centre of Shipley could be turned into a visitor attraction with a viewing platform under proposals for the town's future.

The tower, opened by entertainer Bruce Forsyth in 1961, was one of just four free-standing clock towers in the UK.

The draft Shipley Development Framework suggests repurposing it "to create a viewing platform towards Baildon Moor and surrounding countryside".

The framework sets out how the town could grow in the coming years

It also includes proposals such as the creation of a new canalside "creative quarter" and an "ecology park".

However, the most eye-catching suggestion is the redevelopment of the clock tower and surrounding site, which currently houses Shipley's Underground Market.

New indoor market

A consultation on the proposals ends next week.

They also include plans to boost the town's Civic Quarter, including making more of Shipley Rail Station, Town Hall, and market.

However, there is currently no funding identified for any of the proposals, with Bradford Council saying they are only "indicative" of how the area could be developed, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It says residential and commercial space could be created near the railway station, as well as "a complementary food and beverage offer for rail passengers, which will be better connected by a new footbridge into the retail core".

Improving the town's market offer could be achieved by "creating a more flexible outdoor market square to host regular markets as well as events, alongside an improved new indoor market and offer including food stallholders housed within a new food hall".

The framework also sets out how residential space could be created above shops, and Shipley Town Hall "used for broader non-civic uses such as an event space."

It says a proposed Creative Quarter would be created along the Leeds Liverpool Canal, and build on the success of Wharfe Street Studios - which has helped bring creative independent businesses to the town.

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