Frequently asked questions
We have addressed some of your common questions about the Bradford Top of Town Public realm improvements consultation. Please take time to read the FAQs before responding to the survey.
What is the purpose of this consultation?

The purpose of this consultation is to gain the views of a wide range of stakeholders and residents across Bradford about their priorities for public realm in the ‘Top of Town’. 

The purpose of the engagement will be to get people’s thoughts and ideas, at the pre-design stage, on the ‘Top of Town’ public realm improvements project, as well as their ideas for the public realm in the wider City Village area, together with an understanding of the issues and opportunities surrounding the public realm and infrastructure elements.

This engagement will assist the Council in the design of the ‘Top of Town’ public realm improvements project, and in shaping the delivery of primary objectives of the City Village ‘Making the Place’ proposals, to make an environment that will:

  • Create a safe, healthy environment that becomes a location of choice for a new city centre based community
  • Encourage developers and investors to deliver new homes to cater for a range of types, sizes and tenures of accommodation need to meet the needs and demands of a mixed city centre community
  • Stimulate and support local new and small businesses by creating new and increased demand both from a growing local community and other consumers looking for an alternative experience to that found in the primary ‘destination’ shopping offer in the Forster Square/Broadway area of the City.

Why are you consulting during the COVID-19 crisis?

Bradford, along with the entire nation, is facing an unprecedented set of economic and public health challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘Top of Town’ public realm improvements project may go some way to alleviating the economic fallout from the pandemic and play a key part of the efforts to recover and rebound from this crisis. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance that the consultation is progressed.

What is public realm?

Public realm, sometimes known as public space, refers to all outdoor areas within towns or cities. Areas of public realm include all streets, squares and other public areas where anyone is free to walk.

Public realm is important because it can bring communities together, make places more attractive to both residents, businesses and visitors, and contribute to wider environmental efforts.

The funding secured for ‘Top of Town’ as part of the wider City Village proposals can transform public realm and make Bradford an even better place to live, work and invest.

What sort of things can come out of this consultation?

This consultation is designed to seek general and specific feedback on areas within Top of Town and the wider City Village area. Projects to come out of this consultation will be based on whether residents would like to see more planted areas, pocket parks, community space, repurpose existing outdoor public space, hard landscaping and more.

Have decisions already been made about projects from this consultation?

Bradford Council are at the ‘pre-design’ stage which means no final decisions have been made about specific projects. This is on purpose, as we want to gain the views of residents, businesses and other stakeholders about their vision and priority for the Top of Town’s public realm. Following this consultation, we will take on board feedback which will help shape proposals which will be announced in due course.

Where is the ‘Top of Town’?

The ‘Top of Town’ is an area in the city centre of Bradford. Top of Town is the area of the city which focused around North Parade, Darley Street, Rawson Place and Northgate.

How is this project being funded?

The ‘Top of Town’ public realm improvements project is part funded through the Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage scheme, and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the ESIF Growth Programme for the Leeds City Region – ‘Integrated Actions for Sustainable Urban Development’. The Townscape Heritage scheme is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which part-funds this project, concentrates on addressing climate change, tackling flooding and creating high quality natural environments where people live and work.

What is the wider context to this consultation?

Top of Town is a public realm improvements project within the City Village proposals, a ten-year regeneration plan. This project is an opportunity to further establish Bradford as an attractive city for investment, to create jobs and improve the wider district.

The first part of the City Village proposals is the creation of Darley Street Market, a brand new £21m food orientated market due to open in 2022. Oastler Market will be then be replaced with housing as part of the City Village housing development.

This public realm improvements project is running alongside the Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme, which considers heritage and historic buildings in the city centre. This £2m grant programme provides financial assistance to property owners and tenants to restore historic buildings in the Top of Town area.

The Townscape Heritage scheme is complementary to the Top of Town public realm improvements project and has the joint aims to create a high quality and attractive environment in central Bradford. The first grant from this scheme was recently awarded to 14-16 Rawson Place to restore the building with retail space on the ground floor and flats in the upper floor.

Is pedestrianisation being planned for Top of Town?

We are aware that pedestrianisation is a topic of debate locally and around the country. Bradford Council has not made any decisions on this subject and welcomes further comment from residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

Why haven't you included an option for more parking in the survey

Given the existing topography of Top of Town, it would not be viable to make any significant increase in the amount of on street parking, so we are keen not to offer suggestions which could not be fulfilled. Our intention is to understand whether residents are happy with the current arrangements or would be open to Bradford Council exploring other ways to use these public spaces.

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