Work to smarten Bingley continues next week (Monday 17 Aug) with a major project to re-paint all the town centre’s street furniture heritage black with gold detailing.

The project, funded by Bingley Town Council, is estimated to take six to eight weeks, depending on weather, and will cover all lamp posts, sign posts, planters, fencing, benches and other items in the town’s conservation area and surrounding streets. It will tackle street furniture that has become shabby, ensure colour consistency throughout the town and enhance the setting of the town’s many interesting and historic buildings.

The project is one of many initiatives being undertaken by the council to improve Bingley’s appearance and appeal for residents, people who work in the town, and visitors, as well as helping the town get back on its feet after the coronavirus lockdown.

Bagnalls, a long-established Shipley firm, is carrying out the painting work as they are the appointed contractors for Bradford Council which owns the street furniture.

The work will be carried out in stages with various coats of paint being applied and careful attention to ensure Covid-19 signage remains in place. The project is costing just over £23,000 with around £8,000 covering traffic management charges.

It’s anticipated that the Bagnalls team will start on Dryden Street/Market Street, and then work round in a ‘loop’ as follows: Queen Street, Airedale St/Myrtle Place, Chapel Lane, Wellington St/Busfeild St (picking up the car parks and items on Waterloo Rd/Park Rd, and then finally coming back along main street (picking up the railings outside the church, car park on main street, items on Ferrand Lane and benches at Market Square, and the items on Ferncliffe Road).

Toward the back end of the programme, there may be some impact on pedestrians and traffic with short term traffic management along Main Street, at the junction of Main Street and Park Road and the junction of Millgate and Main Street.

Cllr Helen Owen, Chair of Bingley Town Council, said: “Smartening up the street furniture will make Bingley a more attractive and welcoming place and encourage residents and visitors to come back into the town and use and enjoy our facilities, amenities and businesses. This is significant investment, now more important than ever as we emerge from lockdown.”

The Town Council’s investment in Bingley also including funding floral displays throughout the town and surrounding villages and providing free plants to local horticultural groups and village societies. It’s also working to re-provide public toilets in the town centre (closed in 2018 by Bradford Council), a Changing Places facility, and this month has re-started its popular monthly farmers-style market, now in its third year. The council has also mapped all litter and grit bins in the parish, replaced dilapidated ones, and considers sponsoring new bins where needed. To tackle litter, it’s enlisted nearly 50 litter champions who, along with those who’ve taken part in the pre-Covid council-organised community litter picks, have been given free equipment and removed over a thousand bags of rubbish from the parish. The council is also working with the Canal and River Trust and Bradford Council to replace street signage to make it easier for visitors to find the famous Five Rise Locks on the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

In addition, the council operates a grants scheme which has so far given nearly £60,000 to support many community organisations over the last four years, including several that are helping to regenerate the town and its amenities: these have included Action Stations, which has made enormous improvements to Bingley and Crossflatts railway stations, and the Friends of Bingley Pool who are working to keep open the facility by transferring it into community management.

Cllr Edwina Simpson, Chair of the Town Council’s Finance and General Purposes committee, said: “The Town Council works hard to give value for money as well as working closely with residents and local organisations. The council has a full programme of work but always welcomes suggestions and ideas from councillors, members of the community and local organisations about ways to improve Bingley parish and costed plans for initiatives.”

As well as the grants scheme, as Bingley has a Town Council, the parish also now has access to money raised through the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy), a charge raised on development. Bingley receives 15% of CIL which currently amounts to £19,267. Guided by residents’ wishes expressed at the September 2019 consultation, the Town Council is hoping to use this funding on Bingley Pool, parks and green spaces, and initiatives to combat climate change. Groups will need to apply for grants to receive this funding, the spending of which is governed by Government legislation.

At a strategic level, the council is developing a Neighbourhood Plan, including a design code and town centre masterplan, to help shape development in the parish until 2030. Subject to a public consultation, if the plan is in place, Bingley parish will then receive 25% of any CIL. The Town Council successfully bid for funding and support worth £7,350 to assist with the development of the plan.

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