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Urban Design Compendium


Sowerby Bridge (224)

224 - Reinventing a town

Change of use of redundant mill buildings to provide housing, a canoe club, workshops, retail units, offices, a hotel/ restaurant and a museum/ visitor centre.

In 1984 the five mills that dominated the town were all closed. Some had experienced fires and the rest were all but derelict. Since then the mill town has been undergoing a process of regeneration. The whole town needed to adapt and change as its core use and industry had gone, taking with it a number of subsidiary businesses.

The first phase of the redevelopment was opened in 1985, this was an international standard canoe slalom course on the River Calder. This is novel in terms of its town centre location and has proved popular with spectators.

One of the towns most prominent redundant buildings was Carlton Mill, a listed five-storey structure. The regeneration work carried out by Allen Tod Architects has made the building sound while creating a mix of uses within it. Similarly, another of the towns listed buildings known as the Salt Warehouse, has been refurbished for office suites and facilities for the Sea Scouts.

Sowerby Bridge as a whole is a good example of how not only buildings but whole towns can reinvent themselves and evolve through time if their basic structures will allow.

Other Information

  • Location: Sowerby Bridge
  • Contact: Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council Tel: 01422 357 257       

 

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The canal basin provides focus for new mixed use quarter.

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