We are currently working with a local charity, Queensbury Community & Heritage Action Partnership, to transform the Venue and the wider mill into a dynamic heritage hub – celebrating local culture and heritage, maximising tourism to the area, whilst also embracing enterprise and community well-being. We are not looking at the mill in isolation, however, but working with the client to connect the mill to the wider regeneration of Queensbury.
We feel this project is relevant to the Future Place Bradford programme for a number of reasons. An integral part of the project is understanding the historic significance of Queensbury but not being limited by it. An incredibly important part of this project was to develop a strategy that could explore what the mill was, is and what it could be with, producing a document that also evolves alongside the project.
The Black Dyke Mill Heritage Venue is situated in Shed Mill which forms part of the historic Black Dyke Mills in Queensbury, Bradford. Black Dyke Mills is central to the development of the village from a hamlet to a Victorian industrial powerhouse. Without it, Queensbury simply would not exist. Today’s Queensbury links the city of Bradford with Halifax, in terms of a chain of urban development, physically through the historic Queensbury Tunnel which is hopefully being developed as cycle link and historically through a shared textile history that saw people from all over the world work come together under a single roof. In fact, it was during the course of this project that Mandip, Stefanie and Norah (the client) realised that they shared this very heritage – our immediate family came to the Bradford region from Ireland, Albania and India to work in the textile mills.
The project is split into three areas:
(i) Conserving Heritage – introducing energy efficient heating solutions, creating a dedicated gallery space, and industrial clear signage;
(ii) Connecting Communities – developing an ambitious and inclusive programme of engagement to bring communities together through craft cafe workshops, educational modules, music events, exhibitions and markets;
(iii) Empowering Enterprise – creating a dedicated Industrial Library and Haberdashery, holding an array of textile equipment and books which can be rented to local people and businesses.
The owner of Black Dyke Mills was so impressed with our process and strategy that he has offered the team an alternative – and better- space in the mill to develop the heritage venue and conserve a further part of the mill.
Stefanie and Mandip were recently invited to do a TEDx talk at The Media Museum in Bradford in January 2019 on how this project has developed