Entrance to the tunnels
Entrance to the tunnels

Sunbridge Wells is a leisure and shopping facility and tourist attraction built in tunnels in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The centre was opened in 2016.

History

The tunnels where the leisure and shopping facility is now was a quarry in the thirteenth century. It was also used as prison cells and during the Second World War was used as an air raid shelter.[1] In the 1960s it was a location for dancing.[2] This was when The Little Fat Black Pussycat nightclub was based there - it was owned by the wrestler Shirley Crabtree who was known as Big Daddy.[3]

The unusual underground development involved the removal of hundreds of tonnes of rubble[3] and it cost £1.9 million to develop and it includes bars and shops. It had originally had a budget of £1 million but this was nearly doubled when the internal area was increased to 24,000 square feet. The stairwells and corridors are decorated in a Victorian style with displays by the Bradford Museums and Art Galleries.[4]

The leisure and shopping facility was opened after some delay[5] by the parents of developer Graham Hall, on 9 December 2016. A further extension to Sunbridge Wells, the Rose and Crown craft beer pub, opened later, and a steak house is planned to open in 2017.[2]

References

  1. ^ "Bradford's Victorian tunnels in £1m retail refit". BBC News. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b Bradfords Underground Shopping Centre opens, ITV, Retrieved 25 February 2017
  3. ^ a b "Tunnel vision: Bradford plans underground shopping mall". www.yorkshirepost.co.uk. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  4. ^ Mason, Vivienne. "Opening day of the new Sunbridgewells bars and shops complex, in the city centre, draws thousands of visitors". Argus and Telegraph. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  5. ^ Stanford, Mark (5 January 2017). "T&A". Retrieved 25 February 2017.

Coordinates: 53°47′36.9″N 1°45′19.4″W / 53.793583°N 1.755389°W / 53.793583; -1.755389