Bradford Conditioning House – Cape Street.
Conditioning house which is positioned opposite Midland mills on Cape Street was built by the Bradford Corporation after a special act of parliament to quality check and control the moisture content of textiles by means of laboratory examination and certify their true weight and length. It was the only such one of its kind in this country. The purpose built building was designed by F Wild who unfortunately died in 1901 and never saw his plans come to completion. The work was instead superintended by the city architect F. E.P Edwards. The structure was erected over four-storeys and basement around 3 sides of an open court and opened in 1902.. Now, with its glory days a distant memory, the Grade II-listed building is starting to slip from the consciousness of the Bradford population and is increasingly neglected, forgotten and derelict. Since its closure in the late 1980’s it has struggled to find its way. In 1990, there were plans to transform the building into a hotel and conference centre. Six years later, permission was granted to convert it into commercial offices. But nothing happened. In the absence of attention, the building became ever-more dilapidated. The building is now privately owned and in 2010 Jim Dyson, director for the owners Caddick, insisted his company were not about to throw in the towel on Conditioning House. Just like Midland Mills in 2014 Conditioning House still remains abandoned awaiting investment.
Conditioning House could become flats
Bradford’s landmark Conditioning House is expected to become a waterside apartments complex in the new look city.
Caddick Developments, which owns the massive building that has been empty for more than a decade, said today a team of architects was working on a multi-million-pound scheme.
The historic Conditioning House was established as wool testing centre through a special Act of Parliament passed in 1887.
It was built around 1902 and in its heyday employed hundreds of people but Bradford Council decided to sell it and the building was closed about 16 years ago.
Ambitious plans to turn it into a £15 million hotel collapsed and hopes in 1994 that it would become the city’s new Inland Revenue office were also dashed.
The Grade Two listed building was bought by Knottingley-based Caddick five years ago with a view to turning it into a shopping centre, which would create hundreds of jobs.
Caddick was at that time the lead company in the consortium which spearheaded the development of the £300 million Broadway shopping scheme.
Since then Caddick says it has watched the development of the city before deciding the future of the building.
The change of plan follows the announcement of the construction of a new canal from Shipley to Bradford which would place the building on the waterside.
Developer Bradford Channel Ltd has also submitted planning application for a new £350 million village wrapping round a 15-berth canal basin near Forster Square.
Caddick director Jim Dyson said: “We are very excited about the canal’s rebirth and are working on proposals with a full design team.”
He said the company wanted to develop 100 apartments in the existing building and build a new complex of 60 flats on the old car park next door.
Caddick also wants to include bars and shops in the redevelopment of the towering building which stands beside Canal Road.
Richard Wightman, president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is good news that the Conditioning House is coming out of mothballs. It is a great building and can be put to good use again.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for the regeneration of Bradford to be made more visible as people pass the site daily.”
The Conditioning House, Bradford
I’m pleased to announce that our next project will be the Conditioning House, Bradford. This Grade II listed mill opened in 1902 but has been empty for the last few decades. Our plans are to convert it into a high specification mixed use development containing offices and circa 100 luxury apartments.
It will be wonderful to see this heritage building restored to former glory and put back into use. This will be done in a joint venture with local Developer, Priestly Homes Ltd.