Plans have been revealed to turn a Bradford nightclub into a new place of worship following the promise of investment from the national Church of England's Strategic Development Fund.
A new planning application has been submitted to turn buildings at Glydegate Square, between the Alhambra Theatre and the National Science and Media Museum, from a nightclub into a church.
The collection of buildings, constructed in 2002, is currently empty, but will be known to a generation of Bradford revellers for nightspots including Revolution, Tequila and Vibe.
The Bishop of Bradford, Toby Howarth, says the new place of worship, to be known as Fountains Church due to its location overlooking the City Park fountains, will be a “focus point for faith in Bradford.”
The application, submitted to Bradford Council this week, is for the change of use of nightclub buildings to a “place of worship with ancillary uses.”
The application also includes a kiosk in the square that has been used as a cafe.
So far the application is only for the building’s interior - the striking exterior, parts of which were designed to match the neighbouring theatre, will remain in place.
The plans to create a new £4.6 million church in the city centre were first announced earlier this year.
The church said it was creating a new presence in the city centre in particular due to its “large resident student and business population.”
The church will take up 2,930 square metres of the building’s various levels.
The application says: “The building, constructed in 2002, is a strong visual marker within the city centre area, with large areas of glazed curtain walling facing the Alhambra Theatre and Centenary Square.
“The Diocese of Leeds are seeking to provide a series of worship spaces and ancillary supporting services within the Glydegate Square Building.
“The existing configuration supports these uses and the aspiration to establish a substantial congregation which can meet and worship there.”
It says the small kiosk building in the square will be used to provide a short term base for the new church whilst the initial works in the larger building are completed.
The application adds: “It is anticipated that the visitors to the church will arrive on foot via public transport where possible.”
Ven Andy Jolley, the Archdeacon of Bradford, said “After an extensive search of properties in the city centre, the former night club site in Gyldegate is our clear preference for Fountains Church.
“We are in advanced negotiations with the current leaseholder and Bradford Council about the building, and securing planning permission for the change of use is a key part of the process.”
Bishop of Bradford, the Right Revd Toby Howarth added: “This is an important step in an exciting journey as we work with our city council and our communities to create a new focus point for faith in Bradford.”
The site is a short distance from the former Odeon building, which is in the process of being converted into a live music venue.
A decision on the application is expected in late August.