New bar will add to city street's 'evening…

New bar will add to city street's 'evening footfall'

PLANNERS have given the go ahead for the latest new bar on Ivegate – and pointed out how the historic street has seen some major changes in the past year.

Just a few years ago Ivegate – one of Bradford’s oldest streets, was plagued by empty shops and low footfall.

But it has recently enjoyed a resurgence, and this week Bradford Council has approved plans for another new bar to open on the street.

The application, by Altrincham based HMG, will see the former British Heart Foundation charity shop on Ivegate turned into a bar.

The charity vacated the unit last month.

Planning officers said it was important Ivegate remained a shopping street, and said although new bars would dilute this slightly, it was important that empty units were taken on by new businesses.

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There are currently seven bars on Ivegate, most of which have opened in the past few years.

As well as this application for a new bar, a licensing application has been submitted to the Council for a new bar to open on the opposite side of Ivegate – next to a recently opened wine bar.

Once they are open it will take the total of bars on the street to nine.

The new bar will create two full time and six part time jobs.

Approving the application, planners said: “This proposal offers the prospect of the reuse of a vacant retail unit in an important location within the city centre.

“The development would maintain the commercial nature of the building without detriment to the general vitality and viability of the wider primary shopping area and it would introduce a potentially long-term active use to a site in the City Centre Conservation Area, which would assist in its maintenance.

“It is also notable that the development of Ivegate and nearby streets as a Shopping and Markets Neighbourhood is a strategic priority, as set out in the Bradford City Centre Area Action Plan, for the council upto 2030.

“A key aspect of this strategic goal is to ensure that there is a focus on generating evening footfall within the traditional day time retail area. The proposed use would make a significant contribution towards this goal.”

Val Summerscales from the Bradford Chamber of Trade said: “I’m delighted a new business is wanting to take space in central areas of the city.

“I hope planners keep an eye on which type of businesses are opening to help retain a mix in the city centre. It is important we keep or shopping streets as shopping streets.”