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People's Property Portfolio


Inspired by a visit to Nudge Community Builders in Plymouth just before the March 2020 lockdown, the People's Property Portfolio Bradford (PPP:B) was initiated by Eleanor and Rosie of Brick Box CIC, a participatory arts organisation based in Bradford.

Brick Box had been successfully operating both meanwhile and fixed venues for a while in the City, but had begun to see that the value they were creating with their events such as the Wild Woods and take over of venues like The Olde Crown was starting to push up prices of property around them. With no security of tenure for their Brick Box bar they were successful in receiving Power to Change Bright Ideas funding which they invested in establishing the PPP:B, undertaking engagement with the arts and cultural community in Bradford and defining their vision.

The building where the Wild Woods takeover was staged, previously M&S, is currently owned by Bradford Council, one of two bought as part of the Markets Team plan for a new market in the heart of the City. The old M&S has been pulled down to build the new Darley Street market and 26P (which had been used for storage for the M&S store) will be surplus to requirements following the completion of the market fit out.

PPP:B identified this building as a key first building for the Portfolio, and received Gainshare funding to develop the business case for the building as a centre for arts and culture in Bradford as part of the Council’s regeneration plans for Bradford City Centre. During this process to arrive at an agreed plan for the building through creative engagement with the artistic community and a viable financial model for its operation Bradford won the competition to be the host of the City Of Culture 2025.

During conversations about the need for critical infrastructure to support the year of culture programming, 26 Piccadilly was recognised as a key anchor alongside Kala Sangam, Bradford Live, the Alhambra Theatre at St Georges Hall. The team have been able to secure £70k of Shared Prosperity funding from WYCA to further develop the architectural plans for the building with a view to receiving money for its refurbishment directly from DCMS as part of the ambitions of the City of Culture and a positive legacy.

Alongside this plans for the regeneration of Bradford City Centre have been taking place and we are working with the PPP:B to show how the inclusion of a community land trust in those plans can start to create increased and better uses of empty buildings and act as an anchor to further redevelopment alongside other the public buildings and developments.