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Bid to turn listed water tower at KWVR into visitor centre

Wednesday, 1 March 2023 15:21

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

Plans to turn a rare survivor of rail history into a visitors' centre could boost one of the area's most popular tourist attractions.

The stone water tower at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in Keighley dates back to 1883, and is Grade II listed.

The team that runs the railway plans to turn the building into a new visitors’ centre, where passengers of the heritage line could learn more about the railway and the tower itself – which was once an important part of the day to day running of the steam trains.

A planning application to convert the building, including creating a new entrance to the structure, was recently submitted to Bradford Council.

A decision on the plans has yet to be made, but a Council Conservation Officer has backed the proposals.

Jon Ackroyd said: “Although once relatively commonplace, such structures are now rare, especially still in functional order. The tower complements the heritage character of platforms 3 and 4 of Keighley Station.

“It is proposed to adapt the interior to be capable of more flexible and accessible use, and to provide interpretation of the history and purpose of the tower.

“The proposals will enable greater use of the structure, and its interpretation for appreciation by visitors.”

A decision is expected later this month.

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