The Lister Mills project transforms an already magnificent building into a modern day classic and is seen as a symbol for the overall regeneration of Manningham.
The comprehensive redevelopment of Manningham Mills, now known as Lister Mills, is considered to be one of the key projects, not only for Manningham and its Masterplan, but also for the Bradford District. This iconic building, once a symbol of Bradford's great industrial past, had become a symbol of its industrial decline and as such the Council's partnership with the owner/developers of the Mill, Urban Splash (Yorkshire) Ltd, to facilitate the delivery of a phased redevelopment of the whole former Mill Site is seen as critical in delivering a number of significant regeneration objectives.
The original Mill built by Samuel Cunliffe Lister in 1838 was destroyed by fire in 1871, but had been totally rebuilt by 1873 creating the Grade II* listed building that stands today. Once the largest manufacturer of silk and velvet textiles in the World, employing over 11,000 people at its height, the Company that Lister founded finally closed in 1992 as a result of the general decline of the textile industry in Bradford and the UK. In spite of numerous attempts to reuse the massive site, the buildings gradually fell in to a severe state of disrepair and dereliction.
Finally acquired by Manchester based development specialists Urban Splash in 2000, plans were prepared to regenerate the 11 acre South Mill Site through a mixed residential and commercial scheme. However the huge scale of the Site, its chronic derelict condition, restrictive Listed Building status and depressed state of the local property market threatened the financial viability of any redevelopment proposal. As a result a Joint Venture partnership was established involving Urban Splash, Bradford Council and Yorkshire Forward through a mechanism involving private sector investment and public sector funding and intervention, the Council began enabling works in 2004 on the first phase of redevelopment in preparation for handing the site back to Urban Splash to complete the refurbishment of the 100,000 sq ft six storey Silk Mill.
The first phase of the development, the Silk Mill, was completed in September 2006 providing 131 apartments and 16,000 sq ft of community and business space. The total investment was approximately £14.5m including £6.3m of public sector funding.
The second phase, the Velvet Mill is underway and will provide a further 191 apartments and an additional 8,000 sq ft of business space. Negotiations are ongoing to let the commercial space.
The rehabilitation and reuse of the redundant Mill buildings will encourage further investment in Manningham and introduces high quality residential accommodation offering local people a greater housing choice.