A BRADFORD city centre pub has been awarded a Grade II listing, with a heritage body describing it as a “rare survival” of a pub from that era.
The New Beehive Inn on Westgate has just been granted listed status by Historic England, who acknowledged it as one of the city’s most significant pubs.
The local branch of CAMRA has welcomed news that the building is now protected for future generations, but raised concerns about changes made to the pub earlier this year.
Bradford Council has said these changes, including the removal of a bar, were made before the listing.
Built in 1901 by the Bradford Corporation, the precursor to Bradford Council, the Beehive was part of an improvement scheme for the Westgate area of the city.
It was given its Grade II listed status last month, with Historic England describing the pub as “a rare survival of a late Victorian internal plan of four rooms centred around a drinking lobby.”
Other reasons for its listing include “the rare survival of the original 1901 decoration, for example, bar back and wall seating in the Tap Room, for the surviving elements of the 1936 redecoration in the Commercial and Pink Rooms and as a rare example of a public house built by a local authority.”
The vacant pub was sold earlier this year, and between the sale and the listing traditional windows have been replaced with modern UPVC frames and the bar removed from the tap room.
The Bradford branch of the Campaign for Real Ale described the pub as “Bradford’s last remaining public house to retain an interior of outstanding historic importance.”
In response to the listing, CAMRA added: “It comes, however, at a time when the New Beehive itself has recently changed hands and uncertainties have emerged over its future as a pub.”
They raised concerns about the recent changes made to the building.
Dave Gamston, from CAMRA’s national Pub Heritage Group said he hoped “the new owners will be respectful of the New Beehive’s significance as a rare historic pub, be alive to the unique opportunities that may offer, and give it every chance to thrive again.”
They said they had attempted to contact the new owners, but had no response.
The Telegraph & Argus has also attempted to contact who we understand to be the new owners, but as of Thursday have yet to receive a response.
A Bradford Council Planning spokesperson said: “The New Beehive has formed part of Bradford’s landscape for well over 100 years. It’s unique in the district as a public house built by Bradford Corporation and it still retains the original four room layout. So, we welcome the news that the heritage of the building, which still has many of its original features, is being listed.
“We appreciate the concerns expressed by CAMRA, but the windows were replaced and the bar removed before the listing date of July 13 and therefore did not require consent.
“We have also been contacted by an agent acting for the owner and have advised on the implications of the listing which means consent needs to be sought before making any further changes to the building.
“We will monitor the situation and work towards a constructive and positive relationship with the new owner so a quality appropriate use can be found for a building of such significance to Bradford.”
Si Cunningham from Bradford Civic Society said: “It’s an encouraging sign to see Bradford‘s heritage being taken seriously.
“I pushed for this listing as it’s such a unique site. I hope the Council can work with the building owners to ensure any new uses are sympathetic and respectful of the new listed status.”
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