Eastbrook Hall, Bradford
Burnt out, roofless and derelict iconic building in Bradford, restored through successful cross-sector collaborative working.
Eastbrook Hall was built as a Methodist Central Hall and became known as the 'Methodist Cathedral of the North.' It was first opened in 1904 but became vacant by the 1980s; a major fire in 1996 turned this once impressive Bradford historic building into a blight on the horizon. It sits in the area known as 'Little Germany' – a 20 acre conservation area in the heart of Bradford. It includes 55 listed buildings, many of which were constructed in the latter half of the 19th century.
In 2002 we were asked by the Little Germany Urban Village Company to become involved with the restoration of Eastbrook. We explored how to provide the building with a new viable future that would protect the historic fabric while boosting Bradford's economy. It was hugely important that we looked at the wider area and ensured there was cross-sector collaboration in the project which would spur wider regeneration.
We worked with Bradford Centre Regeneration, English Partnerships, Bradford City Council, Regen 2000, Yorkshire Forward and Aldersgate Estates.
Despite being derelict, Eastbrook Hall was still one of best loved landmarks in Bradford. It was of real local significance when the Hall was reopened in November 2008 by our President, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
The restored Hall includes over 70 apartments arranged around a central courtyard. There is also retail and commercial space, supporting local businesses. One of the real delights of the project was discovering Victorian stained glass, and we worked with local craftspeople to have the glass fully restored.